China Opens Police Offices in US, Canada to Monitor Nationals
China is operating police stations in other countries to keep tabs on nationals living abroad. According to a report from Spain-based human rights watchdog organization Safeguard Defenders, China has 54 (or more) outposts in 30 countries that it uses to help the CCP ‘crack down on all kinds of illegal and criminal activities involving overseas Chinese.’
Locations include: New York City, Toronto, London, Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Athens, Paris, Madrid, and Frankfurt.
Beijing claims the outposts are only being used for administrative purposes, to stop fraud, and to locate Chinese criminals living abroad, but reports suggest the facilities are also being used by China’s United Front organizations to spread CCP propaganda and to police/monitor the actions and opinions of Chinese nationals.
“These operations eschew official bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity in third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods,” argues Safeguard.
Since April of 2021, CCP proxies working through the overseas police stations have “persuaded” up to 230,000 Chinese nationals to return home to face criminal prosecution. In most cases, suspects “volunteer” to return home only after they or their families are intimidated, threatened, or imprisoned.
Safeguard’s report details a specific example that occurred in Cambodia, one of several nations considered “forbidden” by the Chinese Government due to high rates of fraud.
In May, CCP proxies contacted a Chinese national living in Cambodia and accused her of fraud simply for operating a restaurant there. When she refused the demand that she return to China, authorities threatened to cut power to her family and used spray paint to write “House of Telecom Fraud” across her mother’s home in China.
Tactics like this deprive Chinese nationals of the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty and introduce a “guilt by association paradigm” that reaches far beyond the boundaries of mainland China, notes the report.
In conclusion, Safeguard is urging EU nations and their allies to launch investigations as soon as possible to ” identify the (local) actors at work, mitigate the risks, and effectively protect the growing number of those targeted.”
Author’s Note: China’s willingness to violate basic human rights and ignore the rule of law in other countries truly has no limit. Imagine you are a Chinese American living in New York City. A Chinese policeman shows up at your door, claims to have authority, and threatens to harm your family back in China if you do not return home to face penalties for a made-up crime.
The mere existence of these stations is a violation of international law and should be stopped immediately.