Law enforcement authorities in New York charged two men with running an unauthorized police station in New York City on April 17, 2023. They were charged with conspiring to act as agents of the Chinese government, and with obstructing justice. They are said to have used the police outpost to intimidate Chinese dissidents living in the United States, on China’s behalf.
Charges were also unveiled in two related cases: one against 34 Chinese police officers accused of harassing Chinese nationals who lived in the New York area, and another against eight Chinese officials accused of directing a Zoom employee based in China to remove dissidents from the platform.
The Manhattan police outpost, court papers say, was overseen by the Fuzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau, a branch of China’s Ministry of Public Security.
The charges against the men, Lu Jianwang, 61, also known as Harry Lu, and Chen Jinping, 59, grew out of an investigation by the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office into the outpost, which conducted its operations without jurisdiction or diplomatic approval.
“Today’s charges are a crystal clear response to the P.R.C. that we are onto you, we know what you’re doing and we will stop it from happening in the United States of America,” Breon S. Peace, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. “We don’t need or want a secret police station in our great city.”
Officials described all three cases as being part of a worldwide effort to suppress criticism of China’s government. “The People’s Republic of China, through its Ministry of Public Security, has engaged in a multifront campaign to extend the reach and impact of its authoritarian system into the United States and elsewhere around the world,” said David Newman, the Justice Department’s top national security official in Washington.
The New York operation by the PRC is one of many that the PRC and the CCP operate around the world and a sign of expanding transnational repression under the current Chinese regime led by Xi Jinping. The discovery of these illegal police stations to harass Chinese and other dissidents working on human rights and freedom issues in China has made international headlines and add a new challenge to government and intelligence officials across the globe.