After announcing in September the identification of 54 Beijing-controlled police stations outside the country, the NGO found new evidence and added another 48 such allegedly illegal units to the list, according to the new report.
Romania is nominated, along with Italy, Croatia and Serbia, among the European states whose joint initiatives with the Chinese police led to the expansion of the Chinese network.
Beijing uses international police stations to monitor, harass and, in some cases, repatriate Chinese citizens living in exile using bilateral security arrangements with countries in Europe and Africa, CNN writes.
Based on the new information obtained, the organization presents the case of a structure established in Paris, where undercover agents forced a Chinese resident to return to his country of origin.
The September report featured the cases of two Chinese, from Serbia and Spain, forced to return home.
Safeguard Defenders, which analyzes official Chinese public documents for evidence of human rights abuses, said it had identified four different police jurisdictions of China’s Ministry of Public Security that are active in at least 53 countries, ostensibly to help expatriates.
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Beijing denies it
In a response to CNN, Beijing denied it has undeclared police forces outside its territory, saying they are administrative centers meant to help expatriate citizens with issues such as replacing expired driver’s licenses.
China also stated that the establishment of the offices was a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which left many citizens stranded in other countries without the possibility of renewing their documents.
Undeclared consular activities outside of a nation’s official diplomatic missions are highly unusual and illegal unless a host nation has given explicit consent, CNN reports.
The Safeguard Defenders report, however, claims that international police offices in China were established several years before the pandemic.
In addition, Spanish activists also dispute claims by Chinese officials that posts outside the country are filled by volunteers. 135 people were allegedly hired by Chinese police structures for the first 21 offices outside the country, according to the report.
The Chinese Ambassador to Bucharest met with the Inspector General of the Romanian Police
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The website of the diplomatic representation of China in Bucharest records a meeting that the former ambassador, Jiang Yu, had, last summer, with the General Inspector of the Romanian Police, Benone-Marian Matei.
On July 30, 2021, the Chinese Ambassador to Romania (replaced in the meantime – no), Ms. Jiang Yu, met with the Inspector General of the Romanian Police, Mr. Benone-Marian Matei, to exchange in-depth views on issues such as police cooperation between the two countries and the security of Chinese institutions in Romania.
Communication from the Chinese Embassy in Bucharest:
“Ambassador Jiang actively commented on the police exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and appreciated the important supporting role played by the police of the two countries in promoting the development of bilateral relations and promoting practical cooperation,” the statement added.
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