Grace Meng has been placed under French police protection in the city of Lyon while they investigate whether Chinese agents had indeed been sent to possibly pose harm to her. They also shone an unflattering light on secretive, extralegal detentions in China that have ensnared dissidents and allegedly corrupt or disloyal officials alike at increasing rates under the authoritarian rule of President Xi Jinping.
Meng, the first Chinese person to head Interpol, was at one time China's vice minister of public security, which oversees law enforcement in the country. Meng, 65, is a vice minister of China's Public Security Ministry and had been chief of Interpol since 2016 until he resigned by email on Sunday. Mrs. Meng said she has done so now to show her solidarity with her husband.
Interpol announced Sunday that Meng had resigned as president of the worldwide police agency, effective immediately, shortly after China announced that Meng was under investigation.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Tuesday in Beijing.
Meng Hongwei, 64, vanished from public view after taking a flight from France to Beijing in late September.
Meng, 64, was last heard from on September 25, and the lack of details about his disappearance led French authorities and Interpol to go public. South Korea's Kim Jong Yang will be Interpol's acting president until a new one is elected at the next general assembly in November.
"We still don't have sufficient information about what's happening (with Meng) or whether it has anything to do with Chinese domestic politics", he added.
At a regular news briefing on Monday, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang, said that China's commitment to global police cooperation would not be dented by Mr. Meng's fall. The INTERPOL headed by Mr Meng had withdrawn the "red corner notice" against a Uyghur Muslim leader in February.
"This has shown the Chinese government's firm resolve to crack down on corruption and crime", Lu said. "It has also made very clear that this case fully demonstrates that the party is firm in fighting corruption and anybody will be punished seriously in accordance with the law if they violated the law".
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However, Lu did not directly answer questions about whether Meng would be formally arrested or allowed to hire a lawyer, or receive a visit from his wife.
"As long as I can't see my husband in front of me, speaking to me, I can't have any confidence", Grace Meng was quoted as saying by French TV stations and Sunday newspapers.
"I'm not sure what has happened to him", she said. "For the husband whom I deeply love, for my young children, for the people of my motherland, for all the wives and children, so that their husbands and fathers will no longer disappear".
During a press conference Monday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman did not say specify whether the alleged crimes that Meng was accused of were committed during Meng's Interpol presidency or before it.
The Chinese president promised it would catch both "tigers and flies" - the powerful as well as ordinary citizens - and has brought down top officials like ex-Politburo Standing Committee member and former security tzar Zhou Yongkang.
"The perseverance is constant, the corruption is determined, the anti-corruption is firmly adhered to, Zhou Yongkang's poisonous influence is resolutely thoroughly eliminated, and.clean government is continuously promoted", it says.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang also put up a staunch defence of the detention of Meng, dismissing concerns whether it affected Chinese officials' ability to hold important positions in the worldwide organisations such as Interpol.
The Chinese effort to track down corrupt officials overseas, known as Operation Fox Hunt, has led to claims in some countries that Chinese law enforcement agents have been operating covertly on their soil without the approval or consent of local authorities.