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Secret Chinese Police Station Denied By China, Raises Alarm In America

Holland McKinnie
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On Monday, the FBI arrested two New York residents, Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping, for secretly operating a Chinese government police station in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is charging the duo with conspiring to act as agents for the Chinese government. This incident highlights the ongoing concerns regarding China’s infringement on U.S. sovereignty and its threat to national security.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has been accused of “repeatedly and flagrantly violating our nation’s sovereignty” by U.S. Attorney Breon Peace, who expressed his concern over an undeclared Chinese police station in the heart of New York City. Such a situation would be “unthinkable” if the roles were reversed, with the NYPD opening an unannounced secret police station in Beijing.

Following their arrests, Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping have been accused of destroying evidence of their communications with the Chinese national police to prevent the FBI from uncovering their full activities. Their charges include conspiracy to transmit interstate threats and conspiracy to commit interstate harassment.

While China vehemently denies the existence of an overseas police station, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has further charged 34 officers within the MPS with using thousands of fake social media accounts to harass dissidents abroad. This operation has been described as a “significant national security matter” by the DOJ.

The arrest comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China. Earlier this year, a Chinese spy balloon gathering intelligence from various military sites was discovered in American airspace before being shot down over the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, tensions between China and Taiwan have escalated recently, as China encircled the island nation with warships and military aircraft during Easter Weekend under the pretense of “military exercises.”

China’s denial of the accusations and efforts to deflect responsibility is unsurprising. The spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin, stated that China does not interfere with other countries’ sovereignty. However, evidence suggests otherwise, with Beijing targeting its citizens even after they have left China for political or economic reasons.

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In recent years, China has ramped up efforts to bring suspects, mainly wanted for economic crimes, back to the country as part of its anti-corruption drive. The Chinese government has increasingly flexed its muscles abroad, employing extradition treaties and unofficial methods to achieve this goal, such as coercing relatives back home in China.

Wang Wenbin further accused the U.S. of “smear and political manipulation” in response to these allegations. However, given the gravity of the situation and the implications for U.S. national security, the ongoing investigation into these activities is crucial.

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