The New York Times reported that a secret Chinese police station in Chinatown, New York City, was closed down after an FBI raid.
Following a rumored FBI raid, a secret overseas police station operated by the Chinese regime in New York has been shut down.
“The FBI has confirmed that the ‘overseas police station’ in New York linked to Fuzhou has closed,” a State Department spokesperson said in an email to The Epoch Times.
“We continue to be concerned about PRC [People’s Republic of China] transnational repression efforts around the world and are also coordinating with allies and partners on this issue.”
A few weeks after The New York Times revealed that FBI agents raided and searched the building at an unspecified time last fall, the facility in Chinatown, New York, was shut down.
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The facility, along with over 100 others like it, make up a network of hidden locations where, according to experts, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is waging a campaign of global repression.
The overseas police stations are used to gather intelligence and even forcibly repatriate Chinese dissidents to the mainland to be imprisoned, claims Safeguard Defenders in two reports that were released in October 2022 and December 2022.
“We are aware of reports regarding alleged PRC ‘overseas police stations,’” the State Department spokesperson said.
“We take this issue very seriously. Establishing so-called overseas police stations without the invitation or approval of the country in which they are operating raises serious issues of respect for the sovereignty of that country.”
China’s Communist Regime ‘Violates Sovereignty’
Chinese authorities assert that the facilities, which are present in 53 countries, help Chinese immigrants there with procedures that a consulate would ordinarily handle, like driver’s licenses and visa renewals.
The stations have been connected to the CCP’s United Front Work Department, a body that promotes the regime’s interests abroad by disseminating propaganda, carrying out operations to influence foreign governments, stifling opposition movements, gathering intelligence, and facilitating the transfer of technology to communist China.
As a result, many countries have expressed worry that the facilities pose a threat to security and violate their sovereignty.
Officials from Ireland, Canada, and the Netherlands have demanded that China end police actions akin to those in other nations. Similarly, FBI Director Christopher Wray saw them as an infringement on American sovereignty.
“I’m very concerned about this,” Wray said during a November 2022 hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
“I have to be careful about discussing our specific investigative work, but to me, it is outrageous to think that the Chinese police would attempt to set up shop—you know, in New York, let’s say—without proper coordination. It violates the sovereignty and circumvents standard judicial and law enforcement cooperation processes.”
While he did not at the time address the legitimacy of the overseas police stations, he did claim that they were a component of the CCP’s strategy of transnational global repression and that they were connected to CCP operations to spy on Americans.
A recent FBI investigation has found that Chinese-made Huawei equipment could disrupt US nuclear weapons communications and can be used to gather intelligence.
“The reason this is so important is because we have seen a clear pattern of the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party, exporting their repression right here into the U.S.,” Wray said.
“We have seen plenty of situations … where the Chinese government, under the pretext of going after corruption, have essentially used that as a vehicle to surveil. We’ve had situations where they’ve planted bugs inside Americans’ cars.”
According to Safeguard Defenders, there are three such similar facilities in the US that are active in New York and Los Angeles. It is unknown if the FBI has targeted them as well.