Meng Hongwei’s wife is saddened and speaks openly about her family’s tragedy under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) cruel control.
Grace Meng gave up her anonymity and showed her face to speak out against China’s autocratic regime, which her husband—a vice minister of public security—served before disappearing in 2018. He was later tried and imprisoned.
“I have the responsibility to show my face, to tell the world what happened,” she said. “During the past three years, I learned—just like we know how to live with the COVID—I know how to live with the monster, the authority.”
“The monster” is how Grace Meng speaks of the regime for whom her husband worked—”Because they eat their children.”
Meng Hongwei, the former president of Interpol, has vanished into China’s vast jail system, purged in a dramatic fall from grace. Grace Meng is alone in France with their twin boys, a political refugee under round-the-clock French police protection after what she believes was a Chinese-led effort to kidnap and transport them to an uncertain fate.
She has no knowledge of Meng’s whereabouts or health status as an imprisoned soon-to-be 68-year-old. However, on Sept. 25, 2018, he sent two text messages to her while on a work trip to Beijing. “Wait for my call,” stated the first. Four minutes later, an emoji of a kitchen knife appeared, ostensibly warning danger. She believes they were sent from his Ministry of Public Security office.
She claims she hasn’t heard from him since then and that her lawyers’ letters to Chinese authorities have gone unanswered. As a result, she is unsure if he is still alive.
“This has already saddened me beyond the point where I can be saddened further,” she said. “Of course, it’s equally cruel to my children.”
“I don’t want the children to have no father,” she added, starting to cry. “Whenever the children hear someone knocking on the door, they always go to look. I know that they’re hoping that the person coming inside will be their father. But each time, when they realize that it isn’t, they silently lower their heads. They are extremely brave.”
In a statement in October 2018 posted on a government website, the authorities said Meng Hongwei, China’s vice minister for public security, was being investigated due to his own “willfulness and for bringing trouble upon himself.”
Chinese authorities announced that he was being investigated for unspecified legal violations just moments after Grace Meng had first met reporters in Lyon, France, to sound the alarm about Meng’s disappearance.
That signaled he was the latest high-ranking Chinese official to be deposed by the Communist Party.
Meng resigned as president of Interpol with immediate effect, according to the organization. That enrages his wife, who claims the Lyon-based police force “was of no help at all.” She claims that by failing to take a stronger stance, the global organization that deals with standard law enforcement concerns has only promoted Beijing’s dictatorial behavior.
“Can someone who has been forcibly disappeared write a resignation letter of their own free will?” she asked. “Can a police organization turn a blind eye to a typical criminal offense like this?”
China announced in 2019 that Meng’s Communist Party membership had been revoked. He abused his power to support his family’s “extravagant lifestyle” and allowed his wife to take advantage of his position. On charges of receiving more than $2 million in bribes, he was sentenced to 13 years and six months in jail by a court in January 2020. According to the court, he admitted guilt and showed regret.
His wife has claimed that the allegations were false, and her husband was fired because he was using his high-profile position to advocate for reform, reported AP news.
“It’s a fake case. It’s an example of a political disagreement being turned into a criminal affair,” Grace Meng said. “The extent of corruption in China today is extremely serious. It’s everywhere. But there are two different opinions about how to solve corruption. One is the method used now. The other is to move toward constitutional democracy, to solve the problem at its roots.”
Grace Meng’s family has political ties as well. Her mother was a member of the Chinese legislature’s advisory board. Furthermore, the family has had a previous political tragedy. Grace Meng’s grandfather was seized, as were his business holdings. He was later imprisoned in a work camp after the Communist takeover in 1949, she added.
She claims that history repeats itself.
“Of course, this is a great tragedy in our family, a source of great suffering,” she said. “But I also know that very many families in China today are facing a similar fate to mine.”