Agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 61-year-old Lu Jianwang and 59-year-old Chen Jinping in the morning, who were expected in federal court in Brooklyn. In neighboring Manhattan, investigators say they set up a Chinese Department of Homeland Security facility without registering with the U.S. federal government as agents of a foreign government.
The office in Manhattan’s Chinatown provided some consular services to residents of Chinese descent, but it also had a dark side, for example helping Beijing track down a pro-democracy activist of Chinese descent living in California, the AP agency reported, citing a US statement.
A flagrant violation of sovereignty
“This prosecution exposes how the Chinese government is flagrantly violating our country’s sovereignty by setting up a secret police station in the middle of New York City,” said Breon Peace, who is the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn.
Breon Peace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn announced that US law enforcement officials have arrested two New York residents for allegedly operating a Chinese ‘secret police station’ in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood https://t.co/T6NFRIxP8i pic.twitter.com/dP5Ka82juh
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 17, 2023
China’s rampant police are operating illegally abroad. It apparently has two stations in the Czech Republic
At the same time, the federal government announced charges against 34 Chinese officials allegedly involved in harassing dissidents in the United States, including by disrupting their communications on American Internet platforms. These people are not in the hands of US authorities, Reuters noted. The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment, she said.
Monday’s announcements are part of an escalating effort by Washington to investigate what it describes as “cross-border repression” by China or Iran against their critics living on American soil. The US has previously indicted more than ten people for allegedly trying to track and harass dissidents and force them to move to China. FBI Director Christopher Wray told members of the US Senate in November that he was deeply concerned about Chinese police cells in US cities.
The one in Brooklyn, according to the prosecutor’s office, disappeared in the fall of last year. At the time, there were reports that the government in the Netherlands was investigating the activities of illegal “police stations” in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In turn, Deník N came up with the finding that two such stations were also in the Czech Republic, while they were also used to monitor members of the local Chinese diaspora and to collect information. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský told the newspaper in December that the Chinese ambassador had assured him of their closure.
China is shouting at the Czech Republic to stop rioting
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