by WorldTribune Staff, October 3, 2022
Chinese citizens can not escape the ever-watching eye of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), even if they reside outside of China.
The communist government in Beijing has set up “overseas police service stations” to keep track of its citizens abroad, including one in New York City and three in Toronto, a human rights watchdog group reported.
In all, China operates 54 “overseas stations” which are used by the CCP to monitor the every move of their citizens, Safeguard Defenders said in its report released last month.
When any Chinese citizen being tracked by the stations falls out of line, the CCP is immediately informed and the citizens are ordered to return to China.
The main criminal activities that are monitored by the CCP surrogates are fraud and telecommunications fraud, according to the report.
The stations often intimidate and imprison a target’s family, or have CCP proxies threaten the target online or in person in order to get them to “voluntarily” return, the report said.
From April 2021 to July 2022, Chinese authorities claimed that 230,000 Chinese nationals were successfully “persuaded to return” to China to face criminal proceedings for their actions.
The bulk of the stations are in Europe, including in Ukraine, France, Spain, Germany, and the UK.
The CCP lists Cambodia as one of the nine forbidden countries for Chinese nationals to live in due to its alleged high incidences of fraud.
A Chinese woman running a restaurant in Cambodia was contacted by authorities to return to China in March, according to the report. The woman said she was not committing any fraud and was just doing business in the country.
Chinese officials warned her in May that she would be put on a telecom suspect list and that they would cut water and power to her mother’s home if she didn’t return. Her mother’s home was later spray-painted with the term “House of Telecom Fraud.”
The report also cites Chinese media reports where other fraud suspects had relatives’ homes spray-painted with shameful messages and their power supply cut off.
The report says the tactics “deprives [Chinese nationals] of the right to be considered innocent until proven otherwise and the right to a fair trial, and also institutes a far-reaching ‘guilt by association’ paradigm.”
China’s Anti-Telecom and Online Fraud Law will go into effect in December. The law gives the CCP greater authority to pursue fraud cases committed by Chinese citizens overseas.