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The Chinese government has established “clandestine Chinese Overseas Police Service Stations in major cities around the world,” including New York and Los Angeles, according to an investigation by the human rights organization Safeguard Defenders. In total, the organization identified 102 stations operating in 53 countries.

Safeguard Defenders said the stations are being used to pressure Chinese nationals to return to China to face criminal charges. They were also linked to China’s efforts to spread its influence and propaganda overseas.

In November, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a U.S. Senate committee: “I’m very concerned about this. We are aware of the existence of these stations.” He said the stations are unauthorized.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, who chairs the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, has called for shutting down the stations.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Safeguard Defenders: Patrol and Persuade

Safeguard Defenders: 110 Overseas

Reuters: FBI director ‘very concerned’ by Chinese ‘police stations’ in U.S.

New York Times: With F.B.I. Search, U.S. Escalates Global Fight Over Chinese Police Outposts

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Tom Kertscher / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.