The world media are looking into China’s overseas ‘police stations’—the tool Beijing uses to target dissidents worldwide. As the case progresses, the U.S. and European countries have launched investigations into it one after another. Reports said that China is carrying out illegal, transnational policing operations across five continents. Dissidents would be harassed, threatened, and pressured to return home to face criminal charges.
Recently, about 7 countries have planned to investigate these discreet agencies, including Germany, Portugal, Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Canada and the U.S. Germany, Portugal, Ireland, issued their investigations within this week.
The issue was brought to light after Spanish-based NGO “Safeguard Defenders” released a report titled “110 overseas: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild” this September.
The report said that China has set up at least 54 offices on five continents. The centers are named after the Chinese police emergency number 110, just like 911 in the U.S. These police services are linked to local Chinese overseas associations in foreign countries, which in turn have close ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
These so-called “foreign police stations ” operate discreetly, illegally, and in various forms. It can be an agency to provide driver license renewals for Chinese nationals, a real estate agent, a restaurant, a convenience store, a residential house, a non-profit Chinese commerce association. They’re in all forms and shapes, but with a united goal—targeting Chinese dissidents.
Two following cases illustrate this point.
Finn Lau was leader in the 2019 Hong Kong protests against extradition. Wanted by Chinese police, he sought refuge in London, UK, but he was not safe there when arrived either.
In 2020, Finn Lau was attacked in the street by three masked men who were alleged CCP agents.
Finn Lau told Voice of America that over the years, the CCP has been stalking or attacking many dissidents in China and Hong Kong living overseas in different ways.
The second case is of Wang Jingyu.
Wang has been on the run from Chinese police since 2019, after he posted comments in support of mass demonstrations in Hong Kong. Wang is currently living in exile in the Netherlands. As soon as he got to the Netherlands, Chinese police went after him.
Wang shared his story with Chinese language media Da Ji Yuan . He said that in February, a Rotterdam police officer called and introduced himself as a financial expert who supported Wang. The guy said he could give Wang money, and wanted to meet Wang outside Rotterdam Central Station. At first sight, Wang thought something was wrong, so he didn’t do that. Then according to Wang, the Chinese thugs got mad, they constantly called Wang on Telegram, harassing him from morning to night.
Ruben Brekelmans, an Dutch member of parliament, tweeted that these offices are another example of the CCP’s invasion of the Netherlands. And the CCP’s authoritarian model must not permeate the Netherlands.