or the post of executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Beijing has made a recommendation — Andy Tsang, a Ministry of Public Security official who served as Hong Kong’s chief of police during the 2014 Umbrella Revolution.
Tsang’s nomination is China’s first attempt at filling a prominent position on an international organization since it detained Meng Hongwei, the former president of Interpol, for corruption last year.
The 61-year-old Tsang remains a controversial figure in his home city of Hong Kong due to his hard-line approach in dealing with the pro-democracy Occupy protesters, including police firing tear gas into crowds. He is nicknamed “The Vulture.” After retiring from his post in 2015, Tsang has been working as China’s Deputy Director of the National Narcotics Control Commission.
When asked about the nomination at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang declared that it was a “concrete action in support of multilateralism and work of the UN” while pledging that China would “devote more efforts to fighting transnational organized crime and strengthening international counter-narcotic cooperation.”
Along with China, Panama, and Colombia have also put forward candidates for the position. The final decision on who wins the post will be made in a few months in New York.