Chinese police stations: Canada “slanders” China and accuses Beijing

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning told a daily briefing that Canada should “stop raising and exaggerating the issue and stop attacking and slandering China.”

“China (…) strictly adheres to international law and respects the judicial sovereignty of all countries,” he added.

The spokesperson did not comment on the existence of the police stations or whether they were run by Chinese government authorities.

“Chinese-Canadians have been victims of the activities carried out by the stations,” Sergeant Charles Poirier of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said Thursday.

“Canada will not tolerate any kind of intimidation, harassment or targeting of diaspora communities,” said Mr. Poirier.

The RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team has opened investigations into alleged police stations in Montreal and Brossard.

The Spanish human rights advocacy group says China has dozens of stations around the world, including in the United Kingdom and the United States.

It said in a report published last September that the stations had been used to “harass, threaten, intimidate and force people back to China for persecution”.

China’s foreign ministry said the positions are for overseas Chinese who need help with bureaucratic tasks such as renewing a Chinese driver’s license. These citizen services are usually provided by an embassy or consulate.

Beijing has launched two multi-year campaigns to return to China suspects wanted primarily for economic crimes, but says its agents abroad are acting in accordance with international law. US authorities say this has not always been the case.

These stations have sparked global fears that the ruling Chinese Communist Party is seeking to control its citizens abroad, often using threats against their families and well-being.

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Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said Thursday that concerns about foreign interference were behind Canada’s refusal to issue a diplomatic visa to a political worker in China last fall.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the presence of Chinese police stations in Canada “is of great concern to us.”

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