The reported presence of China’s Fuzhou police in New York City has prompted a group of Republican House lawmakers to seek answers from President Biden’s Cabinet Secretaries.
Headed by Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R, IND-3), Reps. Michael Waltz (R, FL-6) and Mike Gallagher (R, WI-8), the group of 21 lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Attorney General Merrick Garland to demand answers on how the Chinese police were able to establish a branch in the U.S.
“We are writing to express our grave concern over reports of the law enforcement presence of the People’s Republic of China in New York City,” the letter began.
The letter further states, “The Public Security (Police) Bureau of Fuzhou, China, announced in January 2022 that it has opened the ‘first batch’ of 30 overseas police service stations in 25 cities in 21 countries. In the United States, the Fuzhou Police’s overseas service station is hosted at the American Changle Association, an overseas Chinese hometown organization in New York City.”
Human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders reported last month that the Chinese government has set up at least 54 police service stations worldwide as part of its United Front Work Department.
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According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the United Front Work Department operates under the Chinese Communist Party to direct thousands of groups in conducting operations involving foreign political influence, dissident movement suppression, intelligence gathering and technology transfer. In a report, the New York Post uncovered that the station in Lower Manhattan is being operated by nonprofit America ChangLe Association NY Inc., a group that has been blacklisted by the IRS.
The group, which listed its charitable mission in public filings as a “social gathering place for Fujianese people,” paid $1.3 million for the suite of offices where the Fuzhou Police Overseas Chinese Affairs is situated.
In their letter to Biden’s officials, the GOP lawmakers accused the Chinese police service stations of coercing “purported Chinese fugitives abroad to return to China to face legal proceedings, which is euphemistically dubbed as ‘persuading to return’ in Chinese parlance. By doing so, China avoids scrutiny on its human rights record in relation to repatriating alleged fugitives overseas by eschewing formal international cooperation mechanisms.”
“It is deeply troubling that the Chinese government could use these service stations as its long arm policing abroad,” the letter read, adding, “there should be no room for the Chinese government to exercise extraterritorial law enforcement unilaterally on U.S. soil.”
The letter ended with several questions to Blinken and Garland:
“Considering the importance to safeguard the liberty of U.S. persons and the sovereignty of the United States from foreign encroachment, we request that you kindly respond to the following questions by October 21st, 2022,
- Did the Department of State, Department of Justice, or any other agency of the federal government invite or approve China’s Fuzhou police to establish a presence in New York City?
- Is there any other Chinese law enforcement presence in the United States besides Fuzhou police’s overseas services station in New York City?
- Has the Biden administration rescinded the visa restrictions imposed by the previous administration on Chinese nationals engaged in United Front work activities?
- Has the Department of State issued any visas to Chinese nationals to perform law enforcement or other related government duties at the Fuzhou Police Overseas Service Station in New York City?
- Have the Fuzhou Police Overseas Service Station in New York City and any of its employees registered with the federal government in accordance with [the] Foreign Missions Act and Foreign Agents Registration Act?
- Has the Fuzhou Police Overseas Service Station in New York City engaged in any activities to monitor [or] harass U.S. residents or has it coerced any purported fugitive to go to China without due process under U.S. law?”