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China police official to head Interpol amid graft crackdown

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, China's Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei delivers a campaign speech at the 85th session of the general assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 10, 2016. The top Chinese police official was elected president of Interpol on Thursday, setting off alarm bells among rights advocates over the legitimization of abuses and lack of transparency within China's legal system. (Du Yu/Xinhua via AP)

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, China's Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei delivers a campaign speech at the 85th session of the general assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 10, 2016. The top Chinese police official was elected president of Interpol on Thursday, setting off alarm bells among rights advocates over the legitimization of abuses and lack of transparency within China's legal system. (Du Yu/Xinhua via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A top Chinese police official has been elected head of Interpol as Beijing pushes for former officials and other corruption suspects to be returned from abroad.

The official Xinhua News Agency reports Vice Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei was named as the first Chinese national to hold the post at the organization's general assembly on the Indonesian island of Bali on Thursday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has led a more-than-four-year-long campaign against corruption and China filed a list of 100 of its most-wanted suspects with Interpol in April 2014. The drive is led by the Communist Party's internal watchdog body, prompting questions about its transparency and fairness.

Meng will take over from Mireille Ballestrazzi of France for a four-year term. China joined Interpol in 1984.