|Posted by George Freund on September 30, 2022 at 11:10 AM|
The Infancy Of A Global Police Force:
This latest installment in Safeguard Defenders’ Investigations series takes a deep dive into the Chinese police’s expanding global policing toolkit by examining a seemingly recent campaign to counter transnational telecom and online fraud (according to the official provincial statements) by several provinces in the People’s Republic of China.
This investigation, although short at merely 20 pages, is packed with five major revelations:
Between April 2021 and July 2022, Chinese police “persuaded” 230,000 claimed fugitives to return to China “voluntarily” (while admitting not all the targets have committed any crimes);
Established Nine forbidden countries, where Chinese nationals are no longer allowed to live unless they have “good reason”;
New tools for “persuasion” operations laid down on paper, including denying the target’s children in China the right to education, and other limitations on family members, punishing those without suspicion of any wrongdoing by “guilt by association” (similar to the North Korean practice), and
It also includes government documents stating relatives in China that do not help police "persuade" targets should be investigated and punished by either police or the internal Party police the CCDI;
The establishment of at least 54 police-run “overseas police service centers” across five continents, some of which are implicated in collaborating with Chinese police in carrying out policing operations on foreign soil (including in Spain).
A new law adopted 2 September, going into effect 1 December, establishes full extraterritoriality over Chinese and foreigners globally for certain crimes (fraud, telecom fraud, online scams, etc.);
Download the full investigation (PDF) for further information, data, maps, tables, and sources.
For this overseas operation, rather than using international police or judicial cooperation mechanisms – which provide for control mechanisms to protect the rights of the target, including the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence prior to judgment – official provincial statements and guidelines from the local Ministries of Public Security or Procuratorates highlight the mass use of *persuasion to return* methods.
According to such statements, in the mere fifteen months between April 2021 and July 2022 alone – and pandemic restrictions notwithstanding -, a staggering number of 230,000 Chinese nationals were returned to face potential criminal charges in China through these methods, which often include threats and harassment to family members back home or directly to the target abroad either through online or physical means.
110 Overseas - Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild traces the origins of the campaign conducted by ten “pilot provinces” back to 2018. Official guidelines explicitly outline the different tools made available to "persuade" the targets to voluntarily return to China to face charges. These include targeting the purported suspects' children in China, denying them the right to education, as well as targeting family members and relatives in a similar fashion. In short, a full-on "guilt by association" punishment to "encourage" suspects to return from abroad.
The tools and aims of these methods were amply described in Safeguard Defenders’ January 2022 report Involuntary Returns, which examined higher-value target operations Sky Net (and Fox Hunt).
The very recent documentation presented in this investigation indicates their increased use in operations abroad also by local Chinese police and judicial authorities, confirming a very dangerous trend.
The combination of an absolute absence of minimal judicial safeguards for the target and the association by guilt methods employed on their families, as well as the illegal methods adopted to circumvent official international cooperation mechanisms and the use of United Front Work-related organizations abroad to aid in such efforts, pose a most grave risk to the international rule of law and territorial sovereignty.
Categories: New World Order