China operates police stations around the world to monitor Chinese citizens abroad, report says
The policing operations have assisted Chinese authorities in “carrying out policing operations in foreign soil,” says the report
October 1, 2022 5:30am
Updated: October 1, 2022 5:31am
A new report found that China has opened dozens of “overseas police service stations” around the world to monitor its citizens living aboard, including in New York City.
The report, titled “110 Overseas: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild” was released earlier this month by the human rights watchdog Safeguard Defenders. The report details China’s efforts to combat “fraud” from its citizens living overseas.
The organization claims that these policing operations have assisted Chinese authorities in “carrying out policing operations in foreign soil,” which have resulted in 230,000 Chinese nationals being “persuaded to return” to China to face criminal prosecution.
“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,” says the report.
The police service stations are operating in five continents and over 30 cities. Europe is home to most of the stations, with locations in London, Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Athens, Paris, Madrid, and Frankfurt. There are three locations in North America, three in Toronto, and one In New York City.
The Chinese government claims that the stations provide services to its citizens living abroad. However, the report claims that these are services that are traditionally carried out by an embassy, and instead the stations are being used to enhance China’s overseas law enforcement capabilities.
The human rights organization adds that the stations might also be associated with potential human rights abuses, including harassment and intimidation methods used on the family members of overseas citizens.
“As these operations continue to develop, and new mechanisms are set up, it is evident that countries governed by the standards set by universal human rights and the rule of law urgently need to investigate these practices to identify the (local) actors at work, mitigate the risks and effectively protect the growing number of those targeted,” the report concludes.