The rights group Safeguard Defenders has revealed an additional 48 overseas China-run police outposts bringing the total to 102 stations. Some were set up with help from the host countries.
An updated report titled “Patrol and Persuade” sheds more light on the scale of the network and how joint agreements facilitated the Chinese regime to spread its transnational policing across the globe.
The recent investigation is a follow up to its September report dubbed “110 Overseas: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild.”
The report revealed that besides providing ostensibly administrative service, these stations also serve more sinister purposes, such as, tracking down, arresting, and extraditing people wanted by the CCP, including dissidents who disagree with the regime and its leader Xi Jinping.
Two recently discovered local Chinese authorities, in the cities of Nantong and Wenzhou, set up the bulk of the newly reported stations beginning in 2016. Four separate local police jurisdictions have now been identified as having established such an overseas police force, according to the report.
The network has made a presence in 53 nations so far.
The new revelation refuted the CCP’s narrative that the offices are tasked with assisting in renewing documentation for its citizens who were locked outside China due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One police network hired 135 staff to be in charge of its first 21 stations, the recent report claims.
The account is contrary to China’s foreign affairs ministry’s statement that the overseas stations were staffed by volunteers.
Specifically, the Madrid-based group found a worker hired at a foreign station in Stockholm on a three-year contract.
The group also noted the involvement of Wenzhou station in Paris in at least one illegal “capture and/or persuade to return” operation, and 80 similar cases assisted by the Nantong overseas police system.
“This is in addition to already exposed operations in Spain and Serbia,” the NGO reported.
Joint Patrol Agreements
Several countries in Europe, including Italy, Croatia, Serbia, and Romania signed police patrol agreements with the communist regime between 2015 and 2019, the report says.
China and Italy marked its security cooperation in 2015 with a series of bilateral deals.
Italian police frequently patrolled alongside Chinese police between 2016 and 2018, first in Rome and Milan and then in other cities, such as Naples, where, according to the NGO, evidence pointed to a video surveillance system installed ostensibly “to effectively deter crimes there.”
Italy hosted 11 such Chinese police stations including in Venice and Prato, near Florence, the organization claimed.
China also entered similar deals with Croatia and Serbia in 2018 and 2019 respectively as part of the country’s increasing strategic footprint during Xi’s defining foreign policy.
The NGO further pointed to the article on the Nantong government website that reported on police cooperation between that Chinese provincial system and the police department of Dobroesti in Romania, and the similar units in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lusaka, Zambia.
Reactions After the First Report
After the emergence of the first report, the regime denied running undeclared police stations abroad, calling the allegations an attempt to “smear” China’s reputation.
But Safeguard Defenders stated that despite the fact that Beijing was not directly in charge of the stations, “some statements and policies are starting to show a clearer guidance from the central government in encouraging their establishment and policies.”
The initial report has spurred investigations in at least 13 countries so far.
Ireland and the Netherlands have closed the Chinese police stations that were discovered in their countries, and iInquiries are being conducted in Spain. Canada has filed official complaints to the Chinese Ambassador over reports of unofficial Chinese police service stations operating in Canada.
FBI Director Christopher Wray voiced concerns last month about the existence of China-run police outposts on American soil.
“I have to be careful about discussing our specific investigative work, but to me it is outrageous to think that the Chinese police would attempt to set up shop—you know, in New York let’s say—without proper coordination. It violates sovereignty and circumvents standard judicial and law enforcement cooperation processes,” Wray said during a Nov. 17 hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Dorothy Li, Andrew Chen and Andrew Thornebrooke contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times