The human rights group Safeguard Defenders made headlines earlier this year when it published a report alleging that Chinese police have opened stations around the world, including in New York City.
While that claim has left Republicans outraged, Chinese officials insist the story is a lie.
Embassy spokesman says critics are engaged in “groundless hyping of this issue”
Liu Pengyu serves as a spokesman for China’s embassy in Washington, and he told Reuters in an email last Friday that the facilities in question are being misrepresented.
Pengyu insisted that they are not police stations but are instead volunteer-staffed centers who help Chinese citizens renew their driver’s licenses.
“They assist overseas Chinese nationals who need help in accessing the online service platform to get their driving licenses renewed and receive physical check-ups for that purpose,” the spokesman said.
“They are not police personnel from China,” he continued. “The U.S. side should stop the groundless hyping of this issue.”
GOP lawmakers tell Biden administration they want answers
However, Fox News revealed last month that Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana, Michael Waltz of Florida, and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Attorney General Merrick Garland in which they demanded answers about Chinese law enforcement operating in America.
“The Department of Justice and State Department must explain why the Biden administration has allowed CCP police to set up an office on U.S. soil,” Banks was quoted as telling Fox News Digital.
“When Republicans take back the House, we will hold the Biden administration accountable for their continued efforts to aid and abet the Chinese Communist Party,” he promised.
Meanwhile Waltz told Fox News Digital in a statement that it is “mind-boggling that we are allowing China’s Fuzhou police to operate on American soil.”
“The Chinese Communist Party uses these stations to go after political dissidents abroad, while also endangering the national security of the United States,” the Florida lawmaker complained.
“We must protect the American people and Chinese freedom activists from the CCP’s gross abuse of the American justice system,” he went on to add.