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China questions French asylum to wife of former Interpol chief

China on Wednesday objected to the French government granting asylum to the wife of former Chinese Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who is currently on trial here for alleged corruption, saying that there is no political persecution in the case.

Grace Meng, who had declined to return to China after her husband was arrested last year while on a visit here, alleged his political persecution by the Chinese government.

Reacting to her asylum, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, I don't have the specifics. I can say that Meng was suspected of taking bribes and is being prosecuted by the Supreme People's Procuratorate."

The case is ongoing and it is a normal criminal case. No political factor in it. There is no political persecution. The wife of Meng applied for asylum in France, it is abuse of French procedures. Hope China and France will hold proper and sound cooperation and deal with this case properly, he added.

Meng, 65, once a rising political star of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) held the powerful post of vice-minister of public security before being appointed as the the country's first official to head the Interpol.

He was expelled from the CPC and removed as the head of Interpol for serious disciplinary violations and suspected of graft.

Grace told media in France on Tuesday that she and her children have been granted political asylum by the French government.

"If France hadn't protected me, I would have been killed ages ago. It's a second life for us, me and my children, Meng said.