After pulling flak for opening illegal “police stations,” China is now using consulates and foreign courts in several countries to try to quell dissent against the Chinese Communist Party, claims a report by Investigative Journalism Reportika.
According to the report, China does this to influence overseas Chinese, suppress dissent against the CCP in foreign countries, and interfere in the democratic processes of the respective countries.
According to the report, on October 16, a pro-democracy Hong Kong protester was dragged onto the grounds of the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten. This report was presented to the British Parliament and the government described it as extremely worrying. Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation.
Shocking video circulating on HK Telegram channels shows someone from the PRC consulate in Manchester kicking down pro-democracy signs.
A protester then appears to have been dragged behind the gates of the consulate and beaten by consulate staff. pic.twitter.com/tntvTz38DY
— Luke M (@McWLuke) October 16, 2022
In their defense, the consulate said the protesters displayed a derogatory portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The report further alleges that fake Twitter accounts were created to present a favorable picture of Chinese consulates involved in the beating of the protester, Investigative Journalism Reportika claimed in its report.
This isn’t the first time consulates have been caught up in a controversy. Earlier, in 2021, Twitter suspended the official account of the Chinese embassy in the United States after a tweet calling Uyghur women “baby machines.” Twitter later removed the post.
Another tweet pointed out that the Chinese embassy in the Netherlands had targeted researchers and think tanks. Meanwhile, Cheng Jingye, the Chinese ambassador to Australia, paid a visit to the controversial Confucius Institute at Ravenswood School for Girls. Consul Liu Jianbo from the Sydney office of the Chinese Consulate General for Education accompanied the ambassador.
According to Investigative Journalism Reportika, Chinese consulates and embassies are also setting up legal departments or courts in other countries.
As part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has set up courts and legal advice centers in a number of countries
These centers are set up by Chinese overseas associations, embassies and consulates. These courts have even been set up in the UK, Spain and Italy. According to local media reports, Chinese consulates are interfering in elections, influencing local politics, persuading youth to support communism and suppressing dissent against Xi Jinping from outside China.
In particular, Investigative Journalism Reportika stated in a previous report that the Chinese government had previously opened numerous illegal police stations around the world, including in developed countries such as Canada and Ireland, raising concerns among human rights activists. One such illegal police station has been reported on Capel Street in Dublin, Ireland.
The Chinese embassy told the Irish Times that “the pandemic has made international travel difficult and quite a few Chinese nationals have found that their Chinese ID cards and/or driver’s licenses have expired or are about to expire, and yet they have not been able to renew the card in China in a timely manner.” .”
According to local media, such informal police departments, affiliated with the Public Security Bureau (PSB), have been set up across Canada to frame opponents of China.
Fuzhou has set up informal police departments affiliated with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) across Canada, according to local media reports. Three such police stations are located in the greater Toronto area.
In addition, according to Investigative Journalism Reportika, the Chinese government is using these illegal police stations to influence elections in some countries. According to the Fuzhou police, 30 such stations have already been set up in 21 countries.
Countries like Ukraine, France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom have made such arrangements for Chinese police stations, and the leaders of most of these countries have publicly questioned China’s rise and its deteriorating human rights record.
Weldon Epp, head of Global Affairs Canada for China, was responding to reports of illegal Chinese police services in Canada. “The alleged activity (the police stations) would be totally illegal, totally inappropriate and the subject of very serious allegations,” he recently told a House of Commons committee on Canada-China relations.
According to the National Post report, Chinese police stations are deployed in three locations across Canada, Safeguard Defenders said. A private home in Markham, a supermarket in Scarborough, and the address of the Canada Toronto Fuqing Business Association. China’s official response is that the stations are simply places for expats to easily renew their IDs or driver’s licenses.
The stations are reportedly covert hubs for China’s “involuntary return” program, which forces Chinese expats to return home for punishment if they are found to have broken Chinese law abroad.
China’s goal behind operating such illegal police stations is to quell anti-Chinese sentiment around the world, spread communist ideology, bring back Chinese expats who have violated Chinese law abroad, and interfere in other countries’ governance and democratic processes .