The United States has escalated the global fight against hundreds of Chinese police outposts spread around the world that are unnerving diplomats and intelligence agents, The New York Times (NYT) reported.
FBI counterintelligence agents searched a six-storey office building on a busy street in New York’s Chinatown last fall as part of a criminal investigation being conducted with the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn, NYT reported citing people with knowledge of the inquiry.
This search represents an intensification of a dispute over China’s efforts to police its diaspora far beyond its borders. The US daily said the FBI raid is the first known example of the authorities seizing materials from one of the outposts.
In September last year, Madrid-based Safeguard Defenders released its investigation 110 Overseas – China’s Transnational Policing Gone Wild, followed later by case studies of how such stations had been used in persuasion operations in Spain and Serbia.
This report was followed by a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that seemingly admitted to its use of such persuasion operations abroad, even in countries they do have extradition treaties with.
The investigation follows Safeguard Defenders’ wider report on the growing use of illegal extra-judicial mechanisms to return individuals to China against their will by exerting various forms of pressure, often involving the use of threats and harassment against family members back home or directly against the targeted individual abroad.
The “overseas police service centers” – set up by at least two Public Security Bureaus from Zhejiang and Fuzhou provinces in countries around the world in apparent close cooperation with the local United Front Work Department, with tasks that include to “resolutely crack down on all kinds of overseas Chinese-related illegal and criminal activities”.
Following the release of this report and global media reporting on the establishment of overseas police service centres, various governments have announced actions.
In addition to the previously reported 54 stations, Safeguard Defenders documented the declared establishment by Chinese authorities of at least 48 additional Chinese Overseas Police Service Stations by local-level Public Security Bureaus, with an overall claimed in-country presence of in at least 53 countries via 102 overseas police service stations.
These are the type of operations that have been targeted by FBI investigations and three Department of Justice indictments over the past years. So far, no other country in the world has brought any known charges against such operations. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.