According to a recent report, unofficial Chinese police stations are appearing everywhere globally. Their purpose: hunt down Chinese and force them to return. 

Human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders released its findings on September 12. The group discovered that the Chinese bureau runs at least 54 so-called service centers across five continents. Thirty-six of them are present in 16 European nations, including France, Britain, and Germany. The U.S. and its neighbor, Canada are no exceptions.

These stations frequently operate out of unassuming places, including Chinese restaurants, convenience stores, or addresses of estate agents.

On the surface, the centers assist Chinese travelers with paperwork. They also have another mission: crack down on fraud and telecommunication fraud by Chinese nationals living abroad.

The campaign seeks to persuade fraudsters to return to China and face the consequences of their actions. 

Safeguard Defenders noted, “These include targeting the purported suspects’ children in China, denying them the right to an education, as well as targeting family members and relatives in a similar fashion.” In short, a full-on “guilt by association” punishment to “encourage” suspects to return from abroad.”

But even innocent people are targeted as long as they live in the nine countries that China classifies as having severe fraud and telecom fraud.

The report states, “One police officer publicly stated that even though not all Chinese living in northern Burma are criminals, they would still be subject to ‘persuasion to return’ operations. Police further admitted they did not actually have evidence that all those targeted had committed any crimes.”

The Chinese Communist Party manages to evade Western countries’ scrutiny of its human rights record by intimidating Chinese people rather than following official extradition processes.

According to a Central News Agency report in August, the campaign successfully persuaded 230,000 fraudsters to return to China between April 2021 and July 2022.

There would be no telling if some of them were actually dissidents, corrupt officials, or low-level criminals. But the U.S. paid attention to a similar campaign, called Operation Fox Hunt or Operation Skynet. This operation sought to pressure critics of the CCP to go to China so they could be punished. At least one Chinese agent has been prosecuted.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.