By Mary Villareal
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) reportedly opened overseas police service stations in multiple countries in an effort to monitor Chinese citizens who are living abroad.
The human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders, who investigated the matter, said this illegal effort could enable the CCP to engage in sabotage or espionage.
The report, titled “110 Overseas-Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild,” posited that the Chinese government established at least 54 police stations in 30 countries across five continents, although the total number is likely to be higher.
At least one of the CCP-run stations operates in the United States and is located in New York City.
Housed at 107 East Broadway, the New York outpost is said to be among the “first batch” that was established by the CCP’s Public Security Bureau. It opened on February 15 inside the American ChangLe Association (ACA) headquarters, a nonprofit with close ties to the Chinese regime.
“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 group said in their recent report.
They identified 54 overseas police service stations across five continents, including major cities such as Toronto, Dublin and London. However, the number of stations in operation remains unclear, as there is no complete list available, although they believe that the number may be higher and the stations more widespread.
Moreover, Safeguard Defenders reported that between April 2021 and July 2022, some 230,000 Chinese citizens living abroad had been “persuaded” to return home to China through a variety of methods that included threats and harassment to family members.
Once back on Chinese soil, the targets could face potential criminal charges or be tapped to serve their government’s interests. (Related: Criticizing communist China even outside of China is now a punishable offense.)
Frank Gaffney, the executive chairman of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, warned that stations could be used for sabotage or espionage, among other malicious motives
“The Chinese are not simply forcing people to go back to China and stand trial, but they may be giving them directions to do other things,” he said.
These “other things” could include espionage, recruitment, influence operations, sabotage or subversion.
These police stations could “pose the gravest risk to the international rule of law and territorial sovereignty,” the Safeguard Defenders said.
Chinese influence a national security concern
China’s influence and power within the U.S. have become a national security concern among American lawmakers in recent years. Legislators, many of whom are Republicans, previously raised the alarm over the CCP’s ideological influence on American schools through the Confucius Institutes.
Moreover, lawmakers have raised concerns and pushed forward legislation to crack down on the CCP’s purchasing of American real estate. Chinese investors have now become the largest foreign group of real estate buyers over the past decade with over $188 billion in American land and property acquisitions since 2013.
Last year alone, Chinese buyers purchased a record $6.1 billion in U.S. real estate.
China-based Fufeng Group also drew national attention after proposing to purchase land in North Dakota worth $700 million, allegedly for an agribusiness facility. The catch: It is near a military base.
In response, Republican Senator Mike Rounds of nearby South Dakota introduced the senate version of “Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security Act of 2022,” which would effectively blacklist China and other bad actors from continuing to buy up American farmland or agricultural companies.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also announced a slate of legislative agenda items to rein in the influence of the CCP in his state, including an explicit call to ban the Chinese government and certain other foreign governments from buying up agricultural land and property near military bases.
“Today, I took action to protect Floridians from the bad intentions of adversaries abroad, such as the Chinese Communist Party,” he tweeted on September 22. (Related: Communist China controls LME commodities exchange; regime changes the rules at whim to protect key traders linked to China.)
“From server farms to farmland, the Communist Party of China has been worming its way into our nation’s data storage systems and buying up tracts of land near sensitive national security sites. Florida is leading the way to protect our nation from international foes.”
Visit Communism.news for more shady and possibly illegal acts by the Chinese government that Americans need to be aware of.