PRC Cops Hunt Down Chinese Nationals in U.S.
A growing global network of clandestine Chinese “police stations” is exerting pressure on expats and alleged dissidents in the U.S. and elsewhere to return home.
Agents dispatched by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have “persuaded” tens of thousands of Chinese nationals in more than 120 countries to go back to their communist homeland, according to a watchdog group.
“Sanctioned methods under the PRC’s National Supervision Law range from detaining family members back in China … to outright kidnappings abroad,” reports Safeguard Defenders.
The PRC operatives aren’t police officers in any legal sense, and their “stations” are actually restaurants or other fronts. Most of the agents appear to be “NOCs” who arrive under non-official cover and without diplomatic status – in other words, spies. They pose mainly as businessmen, students or scholars. Some come as tourists who then overstay their visas.
Such a motley crew recently caught the eye of U.S. authorities. In October, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn indicted a group of PRC “illegal agents” on charges of conducting a campaign of harassment to repatriate a Chinese citizen residing in the United States.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace called the Chinese government’s program – dubbed “Operation Fox Hunt” – an “outrageous violations of national sovereignty.” The indicted PRC agents face multiple charges ranging from harassment to money laundering.
FBI Director Christopher Wray earlier condemned Fox Hunt. “China describes it as some kind of international anti-corruption campaign. It is not. Instead, Fox Hunt is a sweeping bid by [China President] Xi to target Chinese nationals who he sees as threats and who live outside of China.”
Ironically, Beijing routinely impedes America’s ability to remove criminal aliens back to China. U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wisconsin, has drafted legislation to penalize China and other countries that refuse to cooperate with court-ordered deportations from the United States.
If convicted, the PRC operatives in Brooklyn face up to 20 years in federal prison. After that, they themselves would presumably be sent back to China. That would be a good and proper exercise of U.S. deportation proceedings.