Fox News reported this week that two New York City residents have been arrested in conjunction with an undisclosed Chinese police station operating in Manhattan.
The incident has raised eyebrows, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York accusing China of compromising American national security.
Fox News quoted a statement from U.S. Attorney Breon Peace that detailed how China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) used the police station for "threatening and harassing Chinese dissidents."
"This task force isn't a normal police force. It doesn't protect people or combat crimes. It commits crimes targeting Chinese democracy activists and dissidents located outside of the People's Republic of China (PRC), including right here in New York City," he stressed.
"An official with the Chinese National Police directed one of the defendants – a U.S. citizen who worked at the secret police station – to help locate a pro-democracy activist of Chinese descent living in California," Peace said.
"In other words, the Chinese national police appear to have been using the station to track a U.S. resident on U.S. soil," he explained.
"Now, just imagine the NYPD opening an undeclared secret police station in Beijing. It would be unthinkable," Peace pointed out.
In addition to maintaining a physical presence in New York City, Peace asserted that MPS officers were active online as well.
This included operating "an Internet troll farm, creating thousands of fake online personas, which they use in a coordinated plot to harass, dispatch, reach, and threaten dissidents and activists throughout the world."
"The two defendants whose arrests we're announcing today destroyed evidence of their communications with the Chinese national police when they learned of the FBI's investigation," Peace noted.
"These two defendants knew they had something to hide, and they obstructed justice in an attempt to prevent the FBI from learning the full extent of what they were up to," he added.
In addition to the two U.S. citizen suspects who were arrested, Peace announced charges against another 34 MPS police officers. The individuals are accused of conspiring to transmit interstate threats and engage in interstate harassment.
New York City is not the only place where China is alleged to operate illegal overseas police stations, as the National Post reported that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is investigating two similar facilities in Quebec.
"The RCMP recognizes that Canadians of Chinese origin have been victims of the possible activities conducted by these centers," Sgt. Charles Poirier was quoted as saying.