The UK government has launched investigations into secret Chinese “police stations” operating in Britain, with one minister saying that illegal operations “will not be tolerated”.
Reports that there are secret Chinese “police stations” operating in a number of UK cities appear to have now provoked the wrath of the British government, which is now reportedly investigating the activities of the CCP foreign outposts.
It comes as other European nations take action against such secret Chinese police offices that are said to be operating in their jurisdiction, with activists having warned that such CCP law enforcement branches are being used to harass and control Chinese dissidents.
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, the UK’s security minister, Tom Tugendhat, said that he had been assured by UK police that an investigation into three Chinese police offices allegedly operating out of Croydon, Hendon and Glasgow, saying that evidence of any illegal activity will be taken seriously.
Very good to hear Minister @TomTugendhat agree that Confucius Institutes should be banned.
Through my amendment earlier this year the government determined it has the authority to close them, so now we need to proceed with these powers. https://t.co/IoAaKqeUmT
— Alicia Kearns MP (@aliciakearns) November 1, 2022
“I have discussed this matter with the police and I am assured that they are investigating allegations of unlawful activity,” the Tory minister told the House of Commons.
“The protection of people in the United Kingdom is of the utmost importance,” he continued. “Any attempt to illegally repatriate any individual will not be tolerated.”
Tugendhat went on to claim that the government’s National Security Bill, if passed, will also strengthen the powers of authorities to deal with such issues, outlining that the legislation would set up a foreign influence registration scheme compelling foreign powers to declare their political activities within Britain.
China, for their part, have claimed the unofficial offices — which often operate in unmarked commercial buildings rented in European cities and appear to be staffed by allegedly retired police officers and soldiers — actually exist to help Chinese citizens abroad with paperwork including renewing their driving licenses. Regardless, China shows absolutely no reluctance to get hands-on in the United Kingdom, with major controversy stirred last month after a Chinese ambassador was filmed helping beat up a protester in Manchester, England.
Britain is one of many European nations that are taking action in response to the revelation that the Chinese Communist Party is operating “police stations” on foreign soil.
For example, the Netherlands has promised to take action against the secret “police stations” operated by China on its soil after a media report found that they were being used to harass and intimidate critics of the Xi regime.
“These agencies are illegal,” a Dutch foreign ministry spokesman said regarding the operations of two stations in the country, both of which are reportedly externally unmarked.
The country’s foreign minister has since ordered China to close the outposts.
Meanwhile, authorities in Ireland have also openly ordered China to shut down an alleged secret “police station” operating that has been operating out of the centre of the country’s capital.
Officials from China have claimed that the office, which is said to be operated by the Fuzhou Police Service Overseas Station, has been used to provide diplomatic services to those in the country.
However, others have suggested that this office too has been used to illegally pressure dissidents.
“The Department noted that actions of all foreign states on Irish territory must be in compliance with international law and domestic law requirements,” a spokesman for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs reportedly said regarding the office.
“On this basis, the Department informed the Embassy that the office on Capel Street should close and cease operations,” they concluded.
The Chinese embassy in the country has meanwhile stated that the operations of the “police station” “have ceased”.
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