Wife of Missing Chinese Official Calls Government a ‘Monster,’ ‘They Eat Their Children’ – Newsweek

Grace Meng, wife of former Interpol President Meng Hongwei, is speaking out after her husband’s disappearance, blaming the “monster” Chinese government for the damage to her family and the country.

She now lives with her twin boys in France as a political refugee under around-the-clock surveillance, what she believes is an attempt by Chinese agents to kidnap them.

In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press, Meng showed her face for the first time and spoke freely about the corrupt system she blames for tearing apart her family.

“I have the responsibility to show my face, to tell the world what happened. 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,” she told AP.

She calls the government “the monster” because she said, “they eat their children.”

Meng’s husband, 67, disappeared in 2018, her last communication from him consisting of two text messages he sent on September 25, 2018, on a work trip to Beijing. The first text read, “wait for my call,” followed four minutes later with an emoji of a kitchen knife, apparently signaling danger.

Since then, Meng has not heard from him, and multiple letters sent by her lawyers to Chinese authorities have gone unanswered. Meng is unsure if her husband is even alive.

“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 October of 2018, a statement announced that Meng was under investigation for unspecified legal violations, signaling that he was the latest high-ranking Chinese official in a party purge. Interpol later announced that Meng resigned as president, effective immediately, and raising suspicions from Grace Meng.

“It’s a fake case. It’s an example of a political disagreement being turned into a criminal affair. 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,” she said.

In 2019, China announced that Meng had been stripped of his Communist Party membership. China said he had abused his power to satisfy his family’s “extravagant lifestyle” and allowed his wife to use his authority for personal benefit.

In January of 2020, a court announced that Meng was sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting more than $2 million in bribes, and said he confessed guilt and expressed regret.

Grace Meng believes the allegations were trumped up and that her husband was purged and now missing because he used his high-profile position to push for change.

“This has already saddened me beyond the point where I can be saddened further. Of course, it’s equally cruel to my children,” Meng said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Grace Meng
Grace Meng, wife of former Interpol President Meng Hongwei, is speaking out after her husband disappeared, blaming the “monster” Chinese government for the damage to her family and the country. Above, she speaks with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, on November 16, 2021. Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press

“The monster” is how Meng now speaks of the government he worked for. “Because they eat their children.”

Among the global critics of China — many of them now mobilizing against the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing — Meng brings the unique perspective of a former insider who has walked through the looking glass and emerged with her views transformed. So profound is the change that she has largely stopped using her Chinese name, Gao Ge. She says she now feels more herself as Grace, her chosen name, with her husband’s surname, Meng.

“I have died and been reborn,” she says.

Grace Meng also has political connections through her own family. Her mother served on an advisory body to the Chinese legislature. And the family has previous experience of political trauma. After the Communist takeover in 1949, Grace Meng’s grandfather was stripped of his business assets and later imprisoned in a labor camp, she said.

History, she says, is repeating itself.

“Of course, this is a great tragedy in our family, a source of great suffering,” she told the AP. “But I also know that very many families in China today are facing a similar fate to mine.”

Grace Meng
Grace Meng, wife of former Interpol President Meng Hongwei, is speaking out after her husband disappeared, blaming the “monster” Chinese government for the damage to her family and the country. Above, she shows photos of her parents (front row) and her with her husband as she speaks with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, on November 16, 2021. Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press

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Wife of Missing Chinese Official Calls Government a ‘Monster,’ ‘They Eat Their Children’ – Newsweek

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