By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 02 November 2022 • 22:19
Police intervene in Chinese Consulate - Credit [email protected]
The Dutch government gave the order after claims of secret overseas police stations that are operated by the Chinese Communist Party.
British MPs called on the government today Wednesday, November 2 to follow suit following claims of a worldwide network of police stations that includes Croydon, Hendon and Glasgow.
The allegations published by Safeguard Defenders, a Spanish-based non-government group said it new of of at least 54 such police service stations operating outside of China.
Operating as administrative centres for Chinese nationals, Safeguard said they were also being used to track and harass dissidents and pressure Chinese nationals to return home to face criminal charges.
MPs are concerned they could be used to undermine democratic institutions, whilst they could also be actively involved in the theft of economic and political secrets.
Former Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith had urged the government to investigate the claims saying: “Otherwise we look like we’re dragging our feet compared to our neighbours,” he told the Commons.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Twitter: “Because no permission was sought from the Netherlands” (for the stations) “the ministry informed the (Chinese) ambassador that the stations must close immediately.”
Ireland has already ordered China to close a Fuzhou police overseas service station in Dublin which the Department of Foreign Affairs said Chinese authorities had not requested permission for.
Wang Wenbin a China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson claimed the overseas outposts were service stations for Chinese people living abroad who were in need of help with administrative and other issues.
Safeguard highlighted online accounts of people being interrogated by video link from these “police stations” and they listed possible locations. Visits by Associated Press, however, found not all addresses contained Chinese police stations or other activity directly related to the Chinese government.
Despite the findings by Associated Press the UK has been urged to follow the Dutch and order China to close alleged secret “police stations.”
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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