- China has set up at least 54 overseas police stations in 30 countries, including in the United States (New York), Canada, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Argentina and Nigeria, according to a recent report from Safeguard Defenders, a human rights NGO.
- The police stations are part of China’s campaign to “persuade” Chinese citizens suspected of criminal acts – particularly telecommunications fraud, but also political “crimes” such as political dissent – to return to China to face criminal prosecution. China not only threatens the Chinese citizens themselves but also members of their families who have stayed behind in China. Such threats have been continuing for years, as FBI Director Christopher Wray pointed out in 2020, when he mentioned a case from the US in which a Chinese government “emissary” visited a target in the US and told him that he could choose between returning to China or committing suicide.
- China’s overseas police stations purport merely to have administrative or consular functions, but function as means of threatening Chinese abroad to return to China, thereby skipping the necessary legal requirements under international law.
- Crucially, the police stations operate without the consent and knowledge of the host countries, such as in the Netherlands, where one of the police stations operates out of a plain ground-floor apartment in Rotterdam belonging to a small Chinese handyman business.
- Beijing, not surprisingly, has denied all wrongdoing. “The organizations you mentioned are not police stations or police service centers,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian Zhao insisted. “Their activities are to assist local Chinese citizens who need to apply for expired driver’s license renewal online….”
- Safeguard Defenders has appealed to countries to take swift action against the police stations.
- “Action needs also be taken to protect a quickly growing Chinese diaspora in the target countries, unless the latter are content with having a foreign government police minority groups on their territory, often to the intentional detriment of the target country and its policies, and aimed at intimidating the diaspora into obedience to the CCP anywhere in the world. Dedicated reporting and protection mechanisms must urgently be made available.” – Safeguard Defenders, January 18, 2022.
- Read more…
You are here: / / / China Operating Illegal Police Stations Worldwide