It has been reported for years now that the authoritarian communist Chinese regime has established secretive police stations in foreign nations that are used to harass, intimidate, threaten, and even coercively or forcibly repatriate Chinese citizens living abroad back to the mainland to be persecuted for alleged misdeeds.
Now a non-profit group working to track and expose those secret Chinese police bases has shared the discovery of dozens more of the foreign stations, including at least two more previously unknown bases in the United States in Los Angeles and New York City, The Epoch Times reported.
China operating secret police bases in dozens of foreign nations
The non-profit group known as Safeguard Defenders announced on Dec. 5 that a follow-up investigation it had launched had identified at least 48 more Chinese Overseas Police Service Stations in addition to 54 such bases that had already been discovered, bringing the total to at least 102 secret police bases in at least 53 different countries.
The Epoch Times noted that, per the Chinese government, those stations ostensibly serve to supplement Chinese consulates in foreign nations and provide basic assistance for Chinese citizens living abroad.
That is likely just a cover story, though, as investigators have determined that the bases are actually used by the Chinese police to secretly engage in general espionage, monitor Chinese citizens living abroad, enforce Chinese laws on foreign soil, and even “harass, threaten, intimidate and force targets to return to China for persecution,” often by way of threats made against family members still living in China.
Republicans decry “outrageous” Chinese “encroachment” on U.S. sovereignty
In a statement to The Epoch Times, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) said, “It’s outrageous that the Communist Chinese government is exercising extraterritorial law enforcement on U.S. soil.”
“It should be a top priority of Secretary Blinken and Attorney General Garland to shut down these stations to protect our Chinese-American constituents and our nation’s sovereignty from foreign encroachment,” she added in reference to the heads of the State Department and Justice Department.
The congresswoman is one of several congressional Republicans who have demanded answers from Blinken and Garland about what, if anything, is being done by the administration to address the issue of the secret Chinese police bases in the U.S.
FBI and State Department acknowledge secret Chinese police bases
For what it is worth, both the Biden administration and predecessor Trump administration have spoken out in opposition to the Chinese police stations on foreign soil, and The Epoch Times reported separately that FBI Director Chris Wray specifically addressed the topic during a congressional hearing in November.
“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,” he said, and added, “It violates sovereignty and circumvents standard judicial and law enforcement cooperation processes.”
More recently, during a press briefing last week, State Department spokesman Ned Price was asked about the updated report from Safeguard Defenders about the secret Chinese police stations and replied that “we’re aware of these reports,” though he directed all law enforcement-related questions to the DOJ and FBI.
“But more broadly, because this isn’t just a phenomenon in the United States, it’s something that we’ve taken note of around the world, we continue to be concerned about PRC transnational repression. We take this issue very seriously,” he continued with the acronym for the communist People’s Republic of China.
“It’s important to note that, even though you are referring to these so-called unofficial police stations, the underlying issues that these reports have surfaced are not at all new,” Price said. “The report describes part of the PRC’s transnational repression efforts where PRC officials reach out outside their borders to harass, to surveil, to threaten individuals around the world, including in the United States, to silence those critical of its government.”
“This is a phenomenon that unfortunately is not unique to the PRC. It’s something that we’ve called out on the part of other governments around the world, and we’ll work to counter it, regardless of where it’s coming from,” he added.