Chinese authorities have opened at least one “overseas police service station” in the United States as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) global transnational repression, according to the human rights group Safeguard Defenders.
“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,” the Spain-based group said in a recent report.
An outpost in New York City was among the “first batch” of 30 overseas police service stations in 21 countries set up by the Public Security Bureau in Fuzhou, the capital city of the southern coastal province of Fujian. Other Chinese cities also set up their own outposts abroad.
The total number of such stations is unclear.
“There is no complete list of such “110 Overseas” police service stations available,” the report states. “[T]he number is undoubtedly larger and such stations more widespread."
ACAEstablished in 1998, the ACA is one of the most influential communities for immigrants from Fujian Province in the United States, according to its website.
‘Sinister Goal’Ostensibly, the overseas police service stations serve administrative purposes, with many tasks the report said that would be “traditionally considered of a consular nature.”
The stations make overseas Chinese feel the “care and love” of the motherland, ACA Chairman Lu Jianshun told Dongnan News. The report mentions that Lu also is a staff member at the New York station.
Safeguard Defenders, however, said such 110 overseas have a “more sinister goal, as they contribute to ‘resolutely cracking down on all kinds of illegal and criminal activities involving overseas Chinese.’” Some of the stations have already been “implicated in collaborating with Chinese police in carrying out policing operations on foreign soil,” the group said.
One example provided in the report was the successful return of a Chinese fugitive surnamed Xia, who was accused of fraud and fled to Serbia.
After identifying Xia’s location in Belgrade, Chinese police authorities “successfully [got] in touch” with Xia through its overseas service station, the report stated, citing a 2019 article by Chinese state media. Police in Qingtian city then “directly carried out persuasion to return” through the Chinese social media app Wechat and video calls with the support of staff members of the overseas service. Chinese police, the report stated, educated Xia about “relevant policies, laws, and cases” at least once a week before Xia finally actively cooperated with the police to return to China in October 2018.
From April 2021 to July 2022, an estimated 230,000 overseas Chinese nationals have been “persuaded to return” to the country to face criminal charges, according to a Chinese state media report.
Safeguard Defenders noted such “persuasion to return” involves harassment and intimidation of the target's relatives in China. If the target refuses to comply, their families could face punishment, such as their children being denied education.
“These methods allow the CCP and their security organs to circumvent normal bilateral mechanisms of police and judicial cooperation, thereby severely undermining the international rule of law and territorial integrity of the third countries involved,” the report states.
“It leaves legal Chinese residents abroad fully exposed to extra-legal targeting by the Chinese police, with little to none of the protection theoretically ensured under both national and international law.”
Officials at the ACA, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the State Department, and the New York attorney general's office didn't respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.