Other Chinese-run ‘police’ centers discovered around the world: NGOs

A human rights organization says it has found dozens of other overseas Chinese “police service centers” around the world, including at least two more in Canada.

In a new report released Monday titled “Patrolling and persuading“, the Spanish non-governmental organization Safeguard Defenders claims to have used open source statements from authorities of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese police and state media to document at least 48 additional stations.

This in addition to 54 stations unveiled in September, bringing the total number of centers documented to 102 in 53 countries. Some host countries have also cooperated in setting up these centres, says Safeguard Defenders.

The stations are accused of targeting Chinese nationals living overseas, especially those who allegedly committed crimes in China, in order to coerce them back home.

Safeguard Defenders reports that in addition to the three previously confirmed police “stations” in the Greater Toronto Area, which are operated from the Chinese city of Fuzhou, it has found newly confirmed centers in Vancouver, operated from Wenzhou. , and another whose location is unknown but operates out of Nantong.

In a statement to CTV National News on Monday, the RCMP said they are “investigating reports of criminal activity in relation to so-called ‘police stations’.” No other details were provided.

A similar statement was made by the police to CP24 at the end of October following the previous report of Toronto area stations.

The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China said at the time that stations should help Chinese citizens renew their driving licenses, as many of them cannot return to China due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19, and that the “local volunteers” facilitating this “are not Chinese police.”

However, Safeguard Defenders says the vast majority of newly documented stations were set up from 2016, years before the pandemic began.

In its previous September report, Safeguard Defenders found that Chinese police had “persuaded” 230,000 fugitives claimed to return to China “voluntarily” between April 2021 and July 2022. Among the tactics used, Safeguard Defenders said, included denying the children of suspects in China the right to education and punishing relatives with ” guilt by association”.

The US Department of Justice charged seven people in October with a year-long campaign to harass and intimidate a US resident return to China.

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the G20 summit in Indonesia in November, his office told reporters he had raised concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping of “interfering” in Canada.

Asked about the specific interference he was referring to, Trudeau later told the House of Commons“We have known for many years that there are constant engagements by Chinese government officials in Canadian communities, with local media, reporting on illicit Chinese police stations.”

With files from CP24 Web Content Writer Joanna Lavoie, CTV National News Vancouver Chief Melanie Nagy, CTV News Toronto Videojournalist Allison Hurst and The Canadian Press

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Post expires at 6:34am on Sunday January 8th, 2023