Lawmakers Call for Closure of NYC Chinese Consulate

Lawmakers Call for Closure of NYC Chinese Consulate
A balloon is held at a press conference and rally in front of the America ChangLe Association highlighting Beijing's transnational repression, in New York City on Feb. 25, 2023. A now-closed overseas Chinese police station is located inside the association building.(Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Stefania Cox

Two Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation that would direct the Biden administration to close the Consulate General of China and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York City, following the arrest of two people on charges of operating a secret police station in the city on behalf of the Chinese regime.

Reps. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) and Lance Gooden (R-Texas) seek to expel Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “diplomats ” from New York City. In a statement, Tiffany cited a report about a secret police station in New York, believed to be one of more than 100 such stations operated by CCP agents around the world, as well as the arrest of more than 40 people, most of them officers in China’s Ministry of Public Security.
In September 2022, a report by Safeguard Defenders alleged agents of the Chinese regime had been covertly operating in several countries, using secret police stations as a base of operations to surveil Chinese dissidents, and even coercing Chinese expatriates to return to China.

“The problem is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “has set up these police stations around the world, including in New York City. And you know, this really hasn’t gotten a lot of attention. But it’s being done all over the world, including in the United States,” Tiffany told NTD.

“And so I believe the Biden administration should be closing that down. And what we are proposing is that the consulate should be closed down. And those diplomats that were involved with it from the Communist Chinese [regime], should be removed from the United States of America,” he added.

The proposal was announced a few days after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against the two individuals for allegedly operating a secret police station in New York at the behest of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of China.
In the interview, Tiffany called the secret police stations “antithetical to the open free country that we aspire to be,” he said, adding that the CCP was trying to intimidate Chinese people living in the United States from being able to lead their lives.

Tough in Pushing Back

He singled out the report on six more Chinese police stations operating in the United States—spanning from California to New York and in between, according to an Apr 18 report from New York Post.

“I hope our intelligence agencies are continuing to investigate this. Because if we’re seeing this pattern of behavior in other consulates, or other police stations, other satellite operations, whatever you want to call them around the country, if that’s the case, then each one of them should be closed as we identify them as intimidating people here on United States soil or stealing our intellectual property,” he said.

The congressman suggested that the Biden administration should be tough on pushing back on such a threat from China.

“Bullies are going to continue to step on your toes,“ Tiffany said. ”And if you step backwards, then they’re going to continue to do that. And we need to deal with this early on,” he said.

“You look at other things that are happening around the world. If we don’t stand up now, if we just go with a policy of appeasement, they’re going to get nothing but more aggressive.”

Eva Fu contributed to this report.
Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.
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