America may be littered with illegal Chinese police stations “yet to be discovered” after the first-ever shutdown of such an operation in New York last month, Salih Hudayar, the prime minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile (ETGE), told Breitbart News.
Hudayar, who leads an entity claiming to be the legitimate government of the territory the Chinese Communist Party currently administers as the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region” (XUAR), told Breitbart News he and his family suffered the kind of “transnational repression” that New York prosecutors accused Beijing of organizing through its illicit Manhattan base.
In April, the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled charges against “Harry” Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping, residents of the Bronx and Manhattan, respectively, accusing them of “repeatedly and flagrantly violat[ing] our nation’s sovereignty by opening and operating a police station in the middle of New York City.” The station, prosecutors said, was run directly through the Communist Party’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and used to “monitor and intimidate dissidents and those critical of its government.”
Among several activities detailed in the complaint was the intimidation of critics of the Chinese government, attempting to silence them or pressure them to return to China, where the communist regime can easily disappear them into its arbitrary legal system. The prosecutors also accused the men of infiltrating a technology company to shut down or otherwise cause technical issues to planned dissident events, citing an attempted virtual memorial for the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre as an example.
The shutdown of the New York police station was the first of its kind after the NGO Safeguard Defenders published a report in September detailing the existence of such operations throughout the United States — including several others in New York City — as well as Canada, Japan, Ireland, and Brazil, among other countries.
“I believe there are more illegal Chinese police stations in New York City and other parts of the United States that have yet to be discovered,” Hudayar told Breitbart News, citing operations in Turkey meant to silence Uyghur activism. “Unfortunately, Chinese intelligence is meticulous about concealing its activities, frequently using restaurants and other businesses as cover for intelligence collection points. This has been especially true when it comes to espionage against Uyghurs.”
“In Turkey, for example, some Uyghur detainees have very close relationships with the Chinese Embassy,” he continued. “These are well-known locations that Chinese intelligence uses as a cover to collect information and distribute orders to its secret agents or assets.”
Following the shutdown of the illegal New York station, Safeguard Defenders clarified that it believed New York was still home to two other such operations, and several more were active nationwide.
A spokesperson for the NGO told the New York Post:
We found at least four listed in the US by PRC [People’s Republic of China] public security authorities, plus flagged an additional four overseas Chinese service centers in the US set up by the UFWD [United Front Work Department] networks responsible for manning the stations.
Hudayar told Breitbart News that he believed himself to be among the victims of the kinds of “transnational repression” operations the New York police station was organizing.
“Since I began my activism publicly in 2017, I have received numerous threats in person, online, and via phone calls, audio messages, and even handwritten letters from a variety of people,” Hudayar detailed. “Threats were even made to me by Uyghurs and even Islamist extremists in an attempt to intimidate me to stop my pro-independence East Turkistan activism.”
China has implemented decades of repressive policies to erase indigenous culture and the predominant religion, Islam, in East Turkistan. Dictator Xi Jinping escalated those policies into a genocide campaign beginning around 2017 and continuing to this day, driven by imprisoning millions in concentration camps, forcibly sterilizing untold numbers of Turkic women, abducting and forcibly assimilating children, and enslaving vast swaths of the population. Beijing denies that its policies constitute genocide, claiming they are a benign “counter-terrorism” campaign with the support of much of the Muslim world.
The Uyghur people and other Turkic ethnic groups indigenous to East Turkistan — a sovereign state prior to Mao Zedong’s takeover in 1949 — are primary targets for Chinese overseas espionage and persecution, alongside Tibetans, whose territory is also colonized under Beijing, and groups such as the Falun Gong spiritual movement.
A study published in 2021 by the Uyghur Human Rights Project and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs found that 96 percent of Uyghurs globally felt “threatened” by China, many of them in the Washington, DC, area, where most American Uyghurs live.
“Many D.C.-area Uyghurs say that they undergo harassment and intimidation daily including receiving threats by text, chat apps including WeChat, voicemail, calls, email, or third-party messages,” the study noted.
“Some people with clear ties to PRC and CCP government entities even attempted to weaponize the US justice system and have me arrested,” Hudayar told Breitbart News. “My email, computer, and even our website were all compromised. Unknown individuals or groups even shot at my house’s window in an attempt to intimidate me, and I have been followed by Asian-looking individuals both here in the United States and while visiting Europe to meet with the European Parliament.”
Hudayar said he and many in his community “have repeatedly reported our concerns to both local and federal authorities” but lamented, “other than listening to us and possibly filing a report in some cases, I can’t say I found them responsive.”
He further lamented that many within the United States are “completely unaware” that infiltration, espionage, and intimidation of Uyghur communities is a formal policy of the Chinese government, suggesting they familiarize themselves with the history of that persecution. In particular, Hudayar cited a 1996 Chinese government document detailing a meeting led by then-Communist Party Chairman Jiang Zemin in which the regime tasked its agents with “all necessary dialogue and struggle” abroad to prevent an international response to repression in East Turkistan, blaming “international counterrevolutionary forces led by the United States of America” for the failure of the local population to embrace communism.
“Establish home bases in the regions or cities with high Chinese and overseas Chinese populations. Develop several types of propaganda. Make broad and deep friends and limit the separatist activities to the utmost degree,” the document orders.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese dictator, issued remarks on Monday at an event meant to promote “United Front” work: the use of Chinese nationals abroad to spread communist propaganda and silence political dissidents around the world.
“Xi has repeatedly referred to overseas Chinese as the witnesses and promoters of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the rest of the world,” the state-run Global Times propaganda newspaper reported. “He hoped that overseas Chinese would become enthusiastic disseminators of Chinese culture … and non-governmental envoys who would make good contacts between people overseas and the Chinese people.”
The head of China’s United Front Work Department, which spearheads foreign repression, propaganda, and agenda-setting efforts, also attended the event, pressuring Chinese people around the world to “act on the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity,” terminology the regime typically uses to describe “Xi Jinping Thought,” the official ideology of the government.
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