ANALYSIS – The fight against China’s growing global network of illegal police outposts has finally heated up here in the United States with the FBI raiding the large Chinese station in New York City (NYC).
This is the mission the FBI should be focused on, rather than raiding pro-life activists or colluding with Big Tech to censor Americans.
I’ve written about these extraterritorial Chinese police stations several times, highlighting the ones in NYC, as well as those in Canada and Europe.
Beijing says these outposts aren’t doing any police work, only helping Chinese citizens abroad, but Chinese state media reports that they in fact “collect intelligence” and solve crimes far outside their jurisdiction.
But they do far more than that.
They are accused of conducting illegal surveillance on legal U.S. residents and citizens of Chinese extraction and intimidating, threatening, and coercing them.
In some cases, they have reportedly even kidnapped people outside of China.
According to the New York Times (NYT), the FBI raided the suspected Chinese police outpost, hidden in New York City’s Chinatown last fall, seizing materials from one of the secretive operations for the first time.
The Chinatown outpost was on the third floor of a six-story office building on a busy street. It was raided by FBI counterintelligence agents working on a criminal investigation with the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Of course, as the NYT reports, the Chinese Embassy in Washington downplayed the outposts, claiming they are staffed by volunteers who help Chinese nationals perform routine tasks like renewing their Chinese driver’s licenses.
Despite the official Chinese denials, the NYT reports, “Western officials see the outposts as part of Beijing’s larger drive to keep tabs on Chinese nationals abroad, including dissidents. The most notorious such effort is known as Operation Fox Hunt, in which Chinese officials hunt down fugitives abroad and pressure them to return home.”
In October, prosecutors in Brooklyn — the same office that searched the New York office — charged seven Chinese nationals with harassing a U.S. resident and his son, pressuring the man to return to China to face criminal charges.
As reported by the NYT, “It’s outrageous that China thinks it can come to our shores, conduct illegal operations and bend people here in the United States to their will,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in 2020.
At least 102 such outposts have been documented in 53 countries in recent months by the human rights group Safeguard Defenders. Wray said in November that he’s “very concerned” about the outposts, which he called “police stations.”
“It’s a long-arm power to show their own citizens inside China that their government is so strong,” said Safeguard Defenders researcher Chen Yen-ting. “We have the power to reach globally, and even if you go out, you’re still under our control.”
These outposts are ostensibly set up by local Chinese municipalities or regions. At least four Chinese localities — Fuzhou, Qingtian, Nantong and Wenzhou — have reportedly set up dozens of foreign police outposts in Japan, Italy, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and other nations.
These don’t include the ones in Canada and the U.S.
Let’s hope the FBI keeps up the pressure on illegal Chinese police activity in the U.S., and the State Department gets involved in controlling any Chinese entities and personnel it has allowed to enter and operate on U.S. soil.
Communist Chinese influence and subversion in the U.S. is the greatest domestic threat we face, not Americans exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech.
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.