Dozens of protesters gathered outside an informal Chinese police station in Chinatown on Saturday to demand the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stop spying on the Chinese community in New York City.
More than 60 protestors rallied outside ChangLe Association Inc. on 107 East Broadway, where a Chinese “service station” operates above a noodle shop, the New York Post reported.
According to security experts, the station conducts surveillance against Chinese dissidents in the city.
Toni Cai, a pro-democracy activist who was imprisoned by the CCP in China for promoting free speech, attended the rally.
It’s a very serious problem in the Chinese community. The CCP has coerced the Chinese community severely and has a large influence on them here in the state, through American and Asian-American politicians. I am very worried, but I want to support the community leaders who are honest and openly against what the CCP is doing.
Jing Zhang, the founder and executive director of Women’s Rights in China, was also among the demonstrators on Saturday.
“People need to support each other,” Zhang said. “We all came here to be free.”
Other protesters have called on the government to implement a high pressure policy on CCP agents.
“CCP agents are everywhere,” protester Ziyun Huang said.
When all the human rights groups have protests and demonstrations, the CCP will come and harass people. The CCP affects the average Chinese American tremendously. The party is always in the back of their mind. Everything they do is psychological. CCP to the Chinese is like the weather — they are always in the background.
According to Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher, who was present at the demonstration, the station in Manhattan is one of 110 illegal law enforcement offices uncovered by the Spain-based nonprofit Safeguard Defenders.
The informal police stations were reportedly set up globally by the People’s Republic of China to provide assistance to Chinese nationals residing abroad in handling paperwork, including renewing their driver’s licenses and official documents.
However, the stations have since had more “sinister” purposes. According to a recent whistle-blower report, the stations have been harassing and spying on the Chinese diaspora for the CCP.
The report by Safeguard Defenders noted that the stations participate in “intimidation, harassment, detention or imprisonment” to return Chinese dissenters to China.
“Openly labeled as overseas police service stations … they contribute to ‘resolutely cracking down on all kinds of illegal and criminal activities involving overseas Chinese,’” the human rights organization stated.
The nonprofit reported that 36 stations have been built in 16 European countries, including France, Spain, Britain and Germany, while the rest can be found in the Americas, Asia and Africa.
Last year, Republican lawmakers demanded an investigation into how the Chinese police have established a branch in New York.
The 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.”
The New York Post previously uncovered that the station in Manhattan is operated by nonprofit America ChangLe Association NY Inc., which has been blacklisted by the IRS.
“It is deeply troubling that the Chinese government could use these service stations as its long arm policing abroad,” the GOP lawmakers’ letter to President Joe Biden’s officials read, adding, “there should be no room for the Chinese government to exercise extraterritorial law enforcement unilaterally on U.S. soil.”