Countries should close Chinese consulates until the communist regime shuts down its network of illegal police operations, a former deputy national security adviser said after nearly 50 additional stations were reportedly found.
“China’s overseas police stations are one of several ways Beijing is eroding our national sovereignty and specifically stripping ethnic Chinese of their rights as citizens of democracies,” Matt Pottinger, chair of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ China program, told Fox News. “Democracies should close China’s consulates until Beijing withdraws its illegal and extraterritorial law enforcement from our borders.”
Safeguard Defenders, a pan-Asian human rights organization, on Monday released an investigation titled “Patrol and Persuade” which reported that in addition to the 54 the group identified in September, another 48 Chinese police departments were operating overseas. Reported locations span 53 countries, including four US-based stations: two in New York City, one in Los Angeles and one set up by the Nantong Public Security Bureau at an undisclosed location.
WATCH: CHINESE SECRET POLICE REPORTED TO IMMIGRATE TO US COAST
SEE MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE
“We know that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has increased its transnational repression efforts around the world in recent years,” Laura Harth, Safeguard Defenders campaign manager, told Fox News. “And that the United Front Work networks associated with these stations have long been involved in foreign influence and interference operations.”
“The stations appear to be just the latest iteration of such growing practices,” she said.
These overseas police stations allow Chinese authorities “to conduct police operations on foreign soil” and have supported a CCP campaign to crack down on overseas citizens who are alleged to have committed “fraud and telecommunications fraud,” Harth said. Since the campaign launched in April 2021, 230,000 Chinese nationals have been “persuaded to return” to face prosecution for alleged crimes, according to China’s Ministry of Public Security.
Safeguard Defenders also linked the reported foreign police network to activities by China’s United Front Work Department, a Communist Party organization tasked with spreading its influence and propaganda abroad.
“The best evidence of the scale of the secret police operations carried out by the [People’s Republic of China] Authorities come from their own official statements and work reports,” Harth said. Beijing has touted the success of Operation Fox Hunt, a campaign that Harth said has brought over 11,000 high-value refugees back to China since 2014.
REPUBLICANS DEMAND ANSWERS FROM BIDEN OFFICIALS TO REPORT CHINA OPENED POLICE ARMY IN NYC
“The numbers and scale speak for themselves,” she said. “Particularly when combined with the framework of illegal methods used … which include threats, harassment, detention of family members at home; the use of undercover agents, embassy personnel, persons attached to the foreign stations, or hired agents to “convince” the target abroad. right on foreign soil and even kidnappings.”
China’s Foreign Ministry has denied it operates undeclared police forces, saying the sites provide services for expatriate citizens, such as ID and driver’s license renewals.
However, the newly reported stations were established back in 2016, according to Safeguard Defenders’ investigation, and deny China’s claims that operations began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHITE HOUSE TELL US CHINA’S DIPLOMATIC CHANNELS CAN GO TO BIDEN, XI. MEETINGS TO BE “EXTENDED”.
Even more worrying than China’s expanding operations, Harth said, is that “the vast majority of target countries appear unaware of the CCP’s police networks operating on their prey,” underscoring “the urgent need for a coordinated response within the democratic alliance.” emphasizes”.
According to Safeguard Defenders, at least 13 countries, including Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, have launched investigations into these police stations after their existence was first reported. The US has also been added to the list, but it’s not clear what steps the government is taking to investigate the issue.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing in November that he was aware of the stations’ existence and found the problem deeply concerning, but refused to back the bureau’s investigative work into the matter to explain in detail.
“But to me it’s outrageous to think that the Chinese police would try to set up a business, say, in New York, without proper coordination,” Wray said. “It violates sovereignty and bypasses the usual processes of judicial and criminal cooperation.”
Harth said it was “extremely encouraging to see the response from some governments,” but recommended that all countries hosting either of these stations “take action to counter this common national threat and assault on fundamental freedoms and territorial sovereignty.” .