US arrests two over alleged clandestine Chinese police station in New York City

Chinese Ministry of State SecurityTHE UNITED STATES HAS arrested two residents of New York City for allegedly conspiring to create and operate a clandestine police station run by the Chinese government in the borough of Manhattan. The arrests come a month after authorities in Canada launched an investigation into allegations that the Chinese government was running at least two clandestine police stations in Montreal and four more in Toronto.

The allegations first surfaced in a 2022 report by Safeguard Defenders, a Spanish-based non-government organization that focuses on the state of human rights in China. The report, titled “110 Overseas: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild”, claimed that China’s Ministry of Public Security, in association with Chinese diplomatic facilities around the world, operated dozens of clandestine police stations in over 50 countries. Their official mission, according to the report, was to service the needs of Chinese citizens living abroad, as well as visitors from China. However, these clandestine police stations were “actively […] engaging in covert and illegal policing operations” targeting Chinese citizens and expatriates, according to Safeguard Defenders.

On Monday, two New York City residents, Chen Jinping, 59, and Lu Jianwang, 61, were arrested and charged with conspiring to operate as unregistered agents of the People’s Republic of China. They were also charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the Department of Justice’s investigation into their activities. United States government prosecutors allege that Chen and Lu were behind the establishment of a clandestine police station in Manhattan. According to the indictment, the Manhattan police station —the first of its kind in the United States— was operated by China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS). It is reported that the station was shut down by the MSS in late 2022, soon after Chinese officials became aware of an investigation into the activities of the station by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A representative of the United States prosecutor accused the Chinese government of engaging in a “flagrant violation” of American sovereignty with “actions that go far beyond the bounds of acceptable nation-state conduct”. Meanwhile, Chen and Lu appeared before a federal judge in Brooklyn on Monday. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 18 April 2023 | Permalink

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