We’ve talked about all sorts of invasive ways China has put down roots in the United States, from an airstrip in Texas to buying up massive amounts of real estate that became available due to economic instability. China has vowed to police the internet of the whole world, and they’ve been caught spying on American citizens in America.
But this just might be the most unsettling yet.
Safeguard Defenders, a human rights NGO, has revealed that China has set up satellite police “service” stations all over the world, including in the United States of America.
What do you mean by “police service stations”?
Here’s what Safeguard Defenders had to say:
Police in China, in coordination with overseas association of Chinese, run by entities of the Chinese Communist Party, has established a series of overseas police “service stations”, in particular in Europe. In Spain, there are 9 such stations so far uncovered. While much of their work is to simply service Chinese residents, or tourists, evidence from the Chinese government itself now shows that one station in Madrid, has been actively working with Chinese police to engage in covert and illegal policing operations in Spain. (source)
And just what are these illegal policing operations? I’m glad you asked.
Between April 2021 and July 2022, Chinese police “persuaded” 230,000 claimed fugitives to return to China “voluntarily” (while admitting not all the targets have committed any crimes);
Established Nine forbidden countries, where Chinese nationals are no longer allowed to live unless they have “good reason”;
The establishment of at least 54 police-run “overseas police service centers” across five continents, some of which are implicated in collaborating with Chinese police in carrying out policing operations on foreign soil (including in Spain).
A new law adopted 2 September, going into effect 1 December, establishes full extraterritoriality over Chinese and foreigners globally for certain crimes (fraud, telecom fraud, online scams, etc.) (source)
It’s bad enough that China uses these tactics within their own country, but it’s absolutely horrifying that they’ve been given carte balance to do this to people who aren’t actually in China.
What methods of persuasion are used?
Apparently, these 230,00+ people have been “persuaded” to return to China “voluntarily.” But how are they wooing them back? Not by any methods that are acceptable by basic human rights standards.
Official guidelines explicitly outline the different tools made available to “persuade” the targets to voluntarily return to China to face charges. These include targeting the purported suspects’ children in China, denying them the right to education, as well as targeting family members and relatives in a similar fashion. In short, a full-on “guilt by association” punishment to “encourage” suspects to return from abroad. (source)
Some examples of “persuasion” were reported by The Washington Times:
A Chinese woman running a restaurant in Cambodia was contacted by authorities to return to China in March, according to the report. The woman said she was not committing any fraud and was just doing business in the country.
Chinese officials then warned her in May that she would be put on a telecom suspect list and that they would cut water and power to her mother’s home if she didn’t return. Her mother’s home was later spray-painted with the term “House of Telecom Fraud.”
The report also cites Chinese media reports where other fraud suspects had relatives’ homes spray-painted with shameful messages and their power supply cut off.
Read More: Why the Heck Is There a Chinese Police Station in New York?