BEIJING (Reuters) - China will support Interpol, raising the profile and leadership of the international police organization, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday at the opening of Interpol's general assembly in Beijing, state media reported.
Last year, the global police cooperation agency elected a senior Chinese public security official, Vice Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei, as its president, prompting rights groups to ask whether Beijing could try and use the position to go after dissidents abroad.
Beijing has tried for many years to enlist the help of foreign countries to arrest and deport back to China citizens it accuses of crimes including corruption and terrorism.
China firmly supports the international struggle against terrorism, Xi said.
Xi touted China's contribution to global law enforcement and policing, saying more people now recognize China as one of the safest countries in the world.
In law-enforcement cooperation between countries, the laws of each must be respected, and equality be practiced in international law, he added.
Beijing has faced reluctance, in Western countries in particular, when it asks for the repatriation of those wanted for alleged crimes in China.
Governments and judiciary in these countries have been concerned that the Chinese don't produce evidence acceptable for Western courts, and that defendants might be mistreated and won't get a fair trial in China amid concerns that allegations can be politically motivated.
(Reporting by Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Michael Perry)