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Interpol says it has received the resignation of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese president of the worldwide police organization who went missing one week ago.

Mr Meng's official biography says he was born in 1953 in the north-eastern city of Harbin and graduated with a degree in law from prestigious Peking University.

This photo shows the last message sent by missing Interpol President, Meng Hongwei, to his wife, Grace Meng.

In recent years, investigators at the Communist Party's influential Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - and an even more powerful body established this year by Xi, the National Supervisory Commission - have signaled a willingness to pursue officials in the highest levels of China's security apparatus and military.

"This will be deeply embarrassing to China and it may well have to pay a price for its nominee for the presidency of Interpol to be detained for undefined crimes in China, [but] this is of secondary consideration to the party leader if he has a reason to want to take Meng down".

Interpol said later that Meng had resigned as president of the organisation, and that South Korean national Kim Jong Yang would become its acting president, while it would appoint a new president at a November 18-21 meeting of the organisation in Dubai.

Speaking to reporters Sunday in France, Meng´s wife said she feared that her husband´s life was in danger.

Grace had last week reported her husband to be missing since September 25 in Lyon, where the Interpol is based, a statement from the French Interior Ministry confirmed.

His wife said Sunday her last contact with him came via a WhatsApp text message with a knife emoji and the instructions, "Wait for my call". But she said she hasn't heard from him since then and does not know what happened to him.

She asked journalists not to show her face as she fears for her own safety and that of her two children.

Speculation has mounted that Meng, who also serves as a vice minister of China's public security ministry, may have been swept up in a broad anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping.

According to Interpol's website, Meng has almost 40 years of experience in criminal justice and policing, and has overseen matters related to legal institutions, narcotics control and counterterrorism.

In the role Meng has been entrusted with a number of sensitive portfolios, including heading up the country's counter-terrorism division, which saw him in charge of the response to several major incidents in China's fractious western region of Xinjiang. "Thus, while the image of China and advancing China's capacity to take on leading offices in global organisations matter to the Chinese government, they are secondary to party considerations", he said.

Grace Meng's latest call for help from the worldwide press - an unusual measure for family members of fallen Chinese senior officials - further indicated that Meng and his wife probably had prepared for the worst circumstances.

French police have been investigating what is officially termed in France a "worrying disappearance". "His job is very busy", she said.

Interpol has downplayed the concerns, saying the president has little influence over the organisation's day-to-day operations, which are handled by secretary-general Stock, a German.