According to a report in Tuesday’s The Epoch Times, the Chinese Public Security Bureau are operating a so-called “service station” from a supermarket on Capel Street in Dublin. The station is one of 30 in various countries around the world.
The stations are part of a campaign launched by the Public Security Bureau of Fuzhou city in January supposedly designed to facilitate Chinese citizens abroad who need to renew official documentation. However, in a report on the launching of one such office in Nigeria, it was also claimed that it was part of a crackdown “on all kinds of illegal and criminal activities involving overseas Chinese.”
The Dublin number is a local 087 mobile number and the premises at 27 Capel Street is
occupied by a shop but is also the address for the Overseas Chinese Service Centre which is listed as part of the Fuzhou Police Overseas Station. Gript did manage to contact the address through the number listed and requested to speak to the Public Security Bureau. The person who answered the call appeared to confirm at first that we had reached an address for that body, but then we were passed on to another person who claimed that we had rang the wrong number.
According to the Safeguard Defenders who monitor human rights in China, while the ostensible objective of the Chinese police is to tackle crime and fraud, the Public Security Bureau is blithely ignoring international policing conventions and is most likely in breach of international law.
It also claims that the use of the local numbers and premises amounts to the creation of a “parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods.”
The Chinese authorities claim that since April 2021, 230,000 overseas Chinese have voluntarily returned home to face criminal charges which have been detected. In large part this would seem to be through the use of the so-called “110 Stations” such as the one in Dublin.
That appears incredible, as who in their right senses would return to a country such as China to face criminal charges whether guilty or innocent?
However, as the report points out, such is the all pervasive nature of Chinese police surveillance and the operation of the social credit system that can deny people access to all manner of public provisions, that enormous pressure can be applied to the families of Chinese people living abroad.
Among those means, Safeguard Defenders list harassment and even imprisonment of family members, as well as the direct approach to people overseas by agents of the Chinese state. Such methods of course are also deployed against political and other dissidents, and the report claims that some of the stations placed abroad have been identified as connected to organs of the United Front Department of the Chinese Communist Party, although no such claim is made with regard to the “station” in Dublin.
However, the fact that such a police operation seems to be, or has been, based in Dublin ought surely to be something that the Irish police themselves might be interested in. Following enquiries it would appear that Irish security personnel are indeed aware of this operation whose function as claimed by Safeguard Defenders was confirmed.