Activist countries

China uses consulates and courts in other countries to suppress dissent against the CCP

After drawing attention to the opening of illegal ‘police stations’, China is now deploying overseas consulates and courts in several countries in an attempt to suppress dissent against the Chinese Communist Party, according to a report by the Reportika investigative journalism.

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

According to the report, on October 16, a pro-democracy protester from Hong Kong was dragged into the compound of the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten. This report was presented to the British Parliament and the government described it as extremely worrying. An investigation has been opened by Greater Manchester Police.

In their defense, the consulate said protesters presented a derogatory portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The report goes on to claim that fake Twitter accounts were created in order to portray a favorable image of the Chinese consulates involved in the beating of the protester, investigative journalism Reportika claimed in its report.

This is not the first time that 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 called Uyghur women “baby-making machines”. Later, Twitter deleted the post.

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

According to Investigative Journalism Reportika, Chinese consulates and embassies also establish legal service posts or courts in other countries.

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

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

Notably, investigative journalism Reportika explained in a previous report that the Chinese government had previously opened many illegal police stations around the world, including in developed countries like Canada and Ireland, raising concerns among human rights activists. About one such illegal police station has been 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 has made international travel difficult, and a number of Chinese nationals have found their Chinese identity cards and/or driving licenses expired or about to expire. to expire, yet they were unable to renew their ID cards in China in time.

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

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

Additionally, the Chinese government influences elections in some countries through these illegal police stations, according to investigative journalism Reportika. According to the Fuzhou police, 30 such stations have already been set up in 21 countries.

Countries like Ukraine, France, Spain, Germany and the UK have such arrangements for Chinese police stations, and the leaders of the majority of these countries publicly question the rise China and its deteriorating human rights record.

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

According to the National Post report, Chinese police stations operate at three locations in Canada, as reported by Safeguard Defenders. A private residence in Markham, a convenience store in Scarborough and the address of the Canada Toronto Fuqing Business Association. The official response from China is that the stations are simply places where expats can easily renew their ID or driver’s license.

The stations are said to be secret hubs for China’s “involuntary return” program, which forces Chinese expats to return home to be punished if found to have violated Chinese law abroad.

China’s purpose behind operating these illegal police stations is to quell anti-Chinese feelings across the world, spread communist ideology, bring Chinese expatriates who have violated Chinese law back to the abroad and to interfere in the governance and democratic processes of other countries.