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.