The Chinese government has set up 32 police “service stations” around the world, including one in New York, to monitor and coerce Chinese nationals living abroad to return to China, according to a new report.
The Spain-based human rights organization Safeguard Defenders recently published a report on these 32 unofficial Chinese police “service stations” operating around the world. The stations were established by the Overseas Chinese Police Office of the Fuzhou Public Security Bureau in China’s Fujian Province.
Liu Rongyan, Director of the Fuzhou Public Security Bureau’s overseas police operations reportedly announced the launch of the “first batch” of 30 overseas “service stations” on Jan. 22, 2022. The 30 stations are located in 25 cities in 21 different countries.
The exact scope of the mission of these overseas Chinese police “service stations” is unclear, but Safeguard Defenders researchers believe the offices work in conjunction with China’s “Fox Hunt” operations. China says its “Fox Hunt” operations are meant to convince Chinese criminals living abroad to return to China, but they have been accused of targeting Chinese dissidents and relying on threats and coercive behavior to get those dissidents to come back to China.
One common technique of the Fox Hunt operations is to track down any family members of a target still living in China and threaten to imprison that family member living in China if the target doesn’t return “voluntarily.”
“Rapidly emerging evidence points to extensive online campaigns and the use of ‘Overseas Police Service Station’” being used in these operations on five continents, often using local ‘Chinese Overseas Home Associations’ linked to the [Chinese Communist Party’s] United Front Work,” the Safeguard Defenders report states. “These operations eschew official bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity of third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods.”
The report states the police service station in New York is located at an address in Chinatown. American Military News called two different numbers associated with the address, but in both cases the person on the other end of the line replied that they don’t speak English and hung up.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to an American Military News request for comment on this matter.