The Chinese regime has run scores of police training programs in South and Southeast Asia, internal documents reveal, forming part of its program to expand influence in the regions.
Yunnan Police College in the city of Kunming, capital of southwestern Yunnan Province, has conducted 115 police training sessions to more than 2,500 law enforcement officers for 62 developing countries from 2002 to 2017, said an internal document dated Nov. 1, 2017.
The paper highlighted that training sessions were to boost “international cooperation on law enforcement” and “serve China’s BRI (the Belt and Road Initiative) strategy” in those regions. BRI is a massive infrastructure investment project spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa aimed at bolstering the regime’s political and economic clout in these areas.
The document said that the college’s international programs had been conducted for 15 years “under the firm leadership of the Chinese Communist Party’s Yunnan Provincial Public Security Department and the local Party committee” to meet the needs of China’s “national strategy” and general police requirements.
According to the paper, the assignments the college had received came from the CCP’s Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Commerce, and the Yunnan Provincial Government.
As to its future work plan, the document said that “building personal connections” would be high on the agenda.
The document also revealed that research projects were carried out in the college, including “A Study of Mechanisms of Preventing Secession, Infiltration, and Subversion by Hostile Forces in Yunnan Frontier Regions.”
The regime has continued its cooperation with ASEAN states in recent years, with the countries in 2016 agreeing to establish a China-ASEAN Law Enforcement Academy, to be set up by the Yunnan Police College, according to state media. The pact involved China committing to provide free short and mid-term training for 2,000 law enforcement officers from the ASEAN region from 2016 to 2020.
China commentator Li Linyi noted at the same time the regime has boosted its police training for Southeast Asian countries, its abduction of Chinese dissidents in these areas has also increased.
For instance, in 2015, Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai went missing in Thailand only to reemerge in China detained by authorities, held on suspicion of illegal business operation. He was a shareholder of Hong Kong-based Causeway Books which drew the ire of the regime over its salacious books critical of top Party leaders.
Three other Chinese activists have been “disappeared” in Thailand since 2015, to emerge detained in China.
Last November, Xing Jian, a Chinese activist and already a refugee accepted by the UNHCR in Thailand, was raided by Thai and Chinese police at his home and sent to immigration detention. He was later released after pressure from the international community and has since moved to New Zealand.