China nominates the vulture to lead United Nations drug agencyadmin October 20, 2019 0 COMMENTS
Beijing: Beijing has nominated a former Hong Kong police chief nicknamed “the vulture” to lead the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, as it seeks another international posting after the fall from grace of Interpol’s former Chinese chief. The move to nominate Andy Tsang Wai-hung, currently deputy director of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, comes as former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei faces bribery charges. disappearance last year was an embarrassing scandal for Interpol that observers said could damage China’s bid to burnish its international profile through global leadership posts. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’The nomination also comes as China faces widespread criticism for its role in fuelling public health crises around the world, particularly in the United States. China is believed to be one of the main manufacturers of synthetic drugs — including opioids such as fentanyl — which have caused thousands of overdose deaths. While Hong Kong police commissioner, Tsang repeatedly defended the actions of his force, which at times was criticised for heavy-handed treatment of protestors in the months-long Occupy Central demonstrations. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaHis tough on crime approach earned Tsang the nickname “the vulture” but apparently won him accolades in Beijing. After retiring from Hong Kong’s police force in 2015, he won a ceremonial job in mainland China. He was appointed to his current anti-drugs post this year. Tsang’s nomination showed “China’s steadfast support for multilateralism and for the work of the United Nations”, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing Wednesday. “China will continue to contribute to efforts to fight transnational organised crime and to step up international anti-drug cooperation,” he added. China has nominated Tsang to become the director-general of the United Nations Office in Vienna, in addition to leading the UN Drugs and Crimes office, Geng said. But Beijing’s arrest of Meng could mar Tsang’s nomination. Meng — who had served as vice minister of public security in China — vanished last September during a visit to China from France, where Interpol is based, and was formally arrested in April. His wife Grace, who was given police protection in France after alleging an abduction attempt earlier this year, was granted asylum on May 2 along with the couple’s two children. China’s role in the drug trade could also be problematic. The country produces 85 percent of the world’s synthetic opioids, experts say, but in a trade war deal reached with the Trump administration, agreed to crack down on all fentanyl-like substances starting in May. The powerful painkiller is 50 times stronger than heroin and has caused record overdose deaths in the US.