China has cut off all cooperation with France on police affairs, after Paris gave asylum to the Chinese wife of a former Interpol chief now in jail on corruption charges, the French newspaper Le Monde reported. Chinese authorities told a diplomat in Beijing in late July that a decision had been made to halt all cooperation after Grace Meng was awarded political asylum in May, the newspaper reported.
Increasingly assertive internationally, Beijing has made the decision to suspend a key aspect of the diplomatic and security relationship with Paris at a time when it is already in the global spotlight over protests in Hong Kongand an escalating trade dispute with the US. Meng first hit headlines last year, when she decided to go public about her husband’s sudden disappearance during a trip home to China in September.
Interpol had not been given any information about the whereabouts of Meng Hongwei, who had been elected president of the body in 2016, leading to the bizarre spectacle of the global police body pleading with China for information about its chief.