China Running Secret Overseas Police Stations Worldwide
WORLD - China is running secret overseas police stations around the world, including unauthorized stations in the US, in order to surveil Chinese nationals in countries across the globe, according to reports by the FBI, a former U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor, and a human rights group.
In December of 2022, Former Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States Matthew Pottinger told Fox News that countries across the globe should shut down Chinese consulates until the CCP closes its "overseas secret police stations".
"China’s overseas police stations are one of several ways Beijing is eroding our national sovereignty and depriving ethnic Chinese, in particular, of their rights as citizens of democracies," he told Fox News.
"Democracies should shutter China's consulates until Beijing withdraws its illegal and extraterritorial law enforcers in our borders," he added.
Human Rights Group Releases Investigative Report On The Global Police Stations
The human rights group Safeguard Defenders also released an Investigative Report on the Chinese overseas police stations. At the time the report was written there were 110 such locations known to exist in over 53 countries worldwide.
A report by the Jerusalem Post also said that China had opened a police station in Israel in order to spy on, harass and silence Chinese nationals abroad.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry told CNN in November of 2022 that the "service stations" exist in order to aid Chinese residents our tourists in the respective country that they are set up in, providing access to drivers license renewals and aiding with other document related services.
The human rights organization, however, says that the service stations are persuading Chinese residents to return to the homeland using coercion tactics, and have used the stations to coerce over 230,000 "fugitives" to return to China between April of 2021 and July of 2022.
How Does China Coerce Residents To Return?
The report by the Safeguard Defenders describe three different "categories", or ways the Chinese Communist Party us coercion and threats in order to persuade Chinese nations to return to China "voluntarily".
It says that the three different categories used by the Chinese Communist Party in order to get people to return are: IRType 1, IRType 2, IRType 3.
Type 1: "tracking down the targets family" in order to "pressure them" using "intimidation, harassment, detention or imprisonment" in order to get them to persuade their family members into returning "voluntarily".
Type2: More of a "direct approach" where the Chinese Communist Party tracks down the target "through online means" or by the deployment of undercover agents and/or proxies abroad in order to threaten and harass the target into returning "voluntarily".
Type 3: This category goes under the "involuntary returns" category and involves "direct kidnappings on foreign soil". The report says that as of the time the report was written, it is not known to have been used.
Concerned FBI Addresses "Unauthorized" Chinese Police Stations On US Soil
Last year, FBI director Christopher Wray said that he was "very concerned" about the Chinese "police stations" located on US territory.
One such station that the FBI announced that they were investigating in November of 2022 is one that China set up in New York, which the FBI says is part of a "global network of such outposts".
During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing Wray said that the FBI is "aware of the existence of these stations" and has vowed to stop China's unauthorized law enforcement activities within the United States.
The FBI Director said “I have to be careful about discussing our specific investigative work, but to me, it’s outrageous to think that the Chinese police would attempt to set up shop in New York, for example, without proper coordination".
He added that “violates sovereignty and circumvents standard judicial and law enforcement cooperation processes".
U.S. State-run news network Voice of America (VOA) reported that Chinese officials have "repeatedly said" that the police service stations are meant to assist Chinese nationals overseas with routine matters such as renewing drivers licenses, which "would normally be handled by an embassy or consulate".
The U.S. state-run news agency cited Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning as saying “Chinese public security authorities strictly observe the international law and fully respect the judicial sovereignty of other countries".
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida asked the the FBI Director if the Chinese police have a "right" to operate on U.S. soil, to which Wray replied saying that the FBI is examining "the legal perimeters of it".
“I can tell you from an FBI director perspective, I’m deeply concerned about this, and I’m not going to just let it lie,” Wray stated.
Worldwide Awareness Of The Chinese Police Stations On Increase Since Rights Report Released
VOA said in November of 2021 that since the Safeguard Defenders came out with their investigative report, "at least" 14 other government agencies all over the world opened up investigations on the stations, including Britain, Canada and Germany.
Wray said that the FBI has been in talks with its international law enforcement partners about the Chinese "police outfits" because "we’re not the only country where it has occurred”.
The VOA report says that most of the Chinese police stations appear to be concentrated in Europe, with the Irish government having asked China to shut down one of their police stations operating in Dublin, according to an AP news report.
The Dutch government had also been looking into two of the stations named in the Safeguard Defenders report in the Netherlands, according to the report.
The report by VOA said that although the FBI had no previously acknowledged the existence of the Chinese police station in New York, they have known about Chinese law enforcement "targeting dissidents" and others on U.S. soil for some time.
“We’ve seen a clear pattern of the Chinese government, of the Chinese Communist Party exporting their repression right here into the U.S.,” he said.
“We’ve had a number of indictments … of the Chinese engaging in 'law enforcement action’ right here in the United States, harassing, stalking, surveilling, and blackmailing people who they don’t like or disagree with the [Chinese President] Xi [JInping] regime," he added.
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