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China expands secret police stations around the world

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China uses 54 overseas police stations, including New York, to track down citizens

Chinese President Xi Jinping/Getty Images

Karl Salzmann • September 15, 2022 3:00 PM

China has opened its latest secret “overseas police service centers” in Chinese restaurants and shops across the UK, the Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The Chinese Communist Party operates 54 police stations outside of China, 36 in Europe alone. One of the two in London claims to be a property company, while one in Glasgow operates in a Chinese restaurant.

The expansion of these overseas police stations comes as human rights activists warn that China is harassing political dissidents on foreign soil. Some political exiles say China is abusing Interpol to bring back dissidents, including foreign nationals, the Telegraph reported.

While the stations say they help Chinese travelers fill out their paperwork, researchers found that they “stalk and blackmail Chinese citizens to force them to return home.” According to the human rights organization Safeguard Defenders, the activity of the centers “takes place under the radar”, without the knowledge of the police and the public.

A Chinese secret police center is operating in New York, according to the Safeguard Defenders report.

Officers at a center in Madrid tracked down a man and forced him into “a video call with public security officers and a prosecutor” in China.

The centers also extort people to return to China by “threatening to cut off electricity to family homes” and “restricting access to public schools for relatives”.

By blackmailing Chinese citizens instead of “going through formal extradition proceedings,” Beijing is reducing “scrutiny of its human rights record” by Western governments, according to the Safeguard Defenders report.

The UK Home Office told the Telegraph that “any request for the repatriation of suspected foreign criminals must be made in accordance with UK and international law”, adding that “unlawful repatriation efforts will not be tolerated”.

When the Telegraph contacted a center in London, a worker lied to the newspaper, saying the police station only helps “overseas Chinese to extend their Chinese driving license and arrange required health checks”.

The stations are affiliated with the United Front Work Department, a Communist Party organization that has close ties to the Biden administration. The think tank founded by Biden’s energy czar John Podesta, for example, has worked extensively with a United Front organization. The president’s son, Hunter Biden, helped a group from the United Front Work Department gain a foothold in the United States, the Free Washington Beacon reported.