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After opening illegal police stations, China using consulates and courts in other countries to suppress dissent against CCP: Claims report

A report by Investigative Journalism Reportika says that China is using Consulates and courts opened as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in foreign nations to crush dissent

After drawing flak for opening illegal ‘police stations‘, China is now deploying consulates and overseas courts in several countries in an attempt to suppress dissent against the Chinese Communist Party, a report by Investigative Journalism Reportika claims.

According to the report, China is doing so in order to influence overseas Chinese, crush dissent against the CCP in foreign nations and interfere with the democratic processes of the respective countries.

As per the report, on October 16, a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester was dragged into the grounds of the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten up. This report was presented to the UK Parliament, and the government described it as extremely concerning. An investigation has been launched by Greater Manchester Police.

In their defence, the consulate stated that protesters showcased a disparaging portrait of the President of China, Xi Jinping.

The report goes on to claim that fake Twitter accounts were created in order to present a favourable picture of Chinese consulates involved in the thrashing of the protestor, Investigative Journalism Reportika claimed in its report.

This is not the first time consulates have been involved in a controversy. Earlier, in 2021, Twitter suspended the official account of the Chinese embassy in the United States following a tweet that referred to Uyghur women as “baby-making machines.” Later, Twitter removed the post.

Another tweet indicated that the Chinese embassy in the Netherlands was targeting researchers and think tanks. Meanwhile, Cheng Jingye, the Chinese Ambassador to Australia, paid a visit to the contentious Confucius Institute at Ravenswood School for Girls. Consul Liu Jianbo from the Chinese Consulate-Education General’s Office in Sydney accompanied the ambassador.

According to Investigative Journalism Reportika, Chinese consulates and embassies also establish Legal Service Stations or courts in other countries.

As part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has established courts and legal service centres in a number of countries 

These centres are established by Chinese overseas associations, embassies, and consulates. These courts have been established even in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy. According to reports by the local media, the Chinese consulates interfere in elections, influence local politics, persuade youth to support communism, and suppress dissent against Xi Jinping from outside China.

Notably, the Investigative Journalism Reportika explained 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. About one such illegal police station was reported at Capel Street in Dublin, Ireland.

Chinese Police Station on Capel Street, Dublin, Ireland. (Image credit: Irish Times)

The Chinese embassy told The Irish Times that “the pandemic made international travel difficult, and quite a few Chinese nationals found their Chinese ID cards and/or driver’s licences expired or close to expiring, and yet they couldn’t get the ID renewed back in China in time.”

According to local media, such informal police service stations affiliated with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) have been set up across Canada to vilify China’s adversaries.

According to local media reports, Fuzhou has set up informal police service stations across Canada that are affiliated with the Public Security Bureau (PSB). Three such police stations are located in Greater Toronto Area. 

Furthermore, the Chinese government is influencing elections in some countries through these illegal police stations, according to the Investigative Journalism Reportika. According to the Fuzhou police, 30 such stations have already been set up in 21 countries.

Countries such as Ukraine, France, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom have such arrangements for Chinese police stations, and the leaders of the majority of these countries publicly question China’s rise and its deteriorating human rights records.

Weldon Epp, Global Affairs Canada’s China lead, responded to reports of China’s illegal police services in Canada. “The alleged activity (the police stations) would be entirely illegal, totally inappropriate, and the subject of very serious representations,” he recently told a House of Commons committee on Canada-China relations.

According to the National Post report, Chinese police stations are operating in three locations across Canada as told by Safeguard Defenders. A private residence in Markham, a convenience store 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 driving licences.

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 violated Chinese law while abroad.

China’s objective behind operating such illegal police stations is to suppress anti-China sentiments across the world, to spread communist ideology, bring back Chinese expats who violated Chinese law while abroad and to interfere in the governance and democratic processes of other countries.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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