Secret Chinese ‘police stations’ to be investigated in Britain – POLITICO

LONDON — The British government will step up efforts to prevent “transnational repression” as police investigate reports of undeclared Chinese “police stations” across the country, Britain’s security minister has said.

The Chinese government has reportedly set up undeclared “police stations” in three locations across the UK – two in London, Hendon and Croydon, and one in Glasgow – to harass political dissidents. Beijing is also said to have established similar centers in other European countries, including Ireland and the Netherlands.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said such activities ‘must be stopped’, stressing that it would be ‘unacceptable’ for any foreign government to attempt to operate a device security on British shores.

“Reports of undeclared police stations in the UK are of course extremely concerning and will be taken very seriously. Any foreign country operating on UK soil must follow UK law,” he said. “Any attempt to illegally repatriate an individual will not be tolerated.”

Chinese authorities have not denied the existence of such facilities, but say they exist solely to provide bureaucratic services to Chinese citizens and do not involve police operations.

One of the two suspected police stations in London is registered as an estate agency, while the location in Glasgow is a Chinese restaurant.

Tugendhat said the next National Security Bill, currently before the House of Commons, will strengthen the powers of the UK government to deal with “transnational repression, coercion, harassment or intimidation linked to any power foreign”.

“It is clear that we can and must do more. I have therefore instructed officials to intensify work to ensure that our approach to transnational repression is robust and I have instructed our department to review our approach to transnational repression as a matter of urgency,” Tugendhat added.

Spanish civil rights group Safeguard Defenders says Chinese police forces have been operating “overseas police stations” in “dozens of countries” across five continents since 2018.


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