China may have up to six more 'illegal police stations' in the US after FBI shut down Manhattan outpost used to 'spy on and harass dissidents'



After the FBI arrested two men in connection with a Chinese 'secret police station' in New York, activists say there may be as many as six other similar illegal outposts across the US.

In addition to the Manhattan outpost that was shut down on Monday, Chinese police operate another station elsewhere in New York City, and one in Los Angeles, according to a New York Post report citing the advocacy group Safeguard Defenders. 

As well, the Madrid-based group has identified so-called 'Overseas Chinese Service Centers' that purportedly provide community services in San Francisco, Houston, Minnesota, and Nebraska. 

While it is unclear whether those outposts are being used as clandestine police stations, Safeguard Defenders noted that Chinese security forces often use non-profits and community groups as a front to spy on and harass dissidents overseas.

China's foreign ministry has disputed the existence of such police stations, but has acknowledged what it says are volunteer-run sites in the US and other countries to assist overseas Chinese nationals with tasks such as renewing drivers licenses.  

On Monday, Lu Jianwang, 61, of the Bronx, and Chen Jinping, 59, of Manhattan, were both arrested at their addresses in New York. 

Prosecutors say the two men set up the office in Manhattan's Chinatown last year at the behest of the Fuzhou branch of the Ministry of Public Security, China's national police force.