The Chinese government has set up “overseas police stations” all over the world to keep track of its citizens, as reported by THISDAY on October 17, 2022.
President Xi Jinping of China [Image source: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images]
The Chinese Communist Party calls them, “110 Overseas Police Service Centres” to crack down on all kinds of illegal and criminal activities involving Chinese in the diaspora. These stations are run in various parts of Africa, Europe, and America, according to a report by Safeguard Defenders.
In Nigeria, the Fuzhou-Run overseas police “Service Station” is reported to be located in Benin City, Edo State.
How does the station work?
Well, the Chinese are setting up the centers in a bid to combat fraud committed by citizens abroad. Chinese authorities have claimed that from April 2021 to July 2022, 230,000 nationals were “persuaded” to return to China to face criminal proceedings. The “persuasion” happened through harassment and intimidation methods, such as threatening the family members of overseas citizens, according to the report.
Is this even legal?
Well, despite China’s good crime-fighting intentions, the program isn’t entirely legal. The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) is the only recognized body for regional police corporations and partnerships around the world. So, if the Chinese government needed help catching fraudsters, they should have partnered with Nigeria’s local law enforcement to do it.
According to Safeguard Defenders, “These operations eschew ofﬁcial bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity of third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods.”
What will Nigeria do?
The Nigerian government hasn’t reacted to the report yet, but everyone is curious about the next line of action. Will we shut down illegal Chinese operations or allow them to continue the fight against corruption? Are we strong enough to stand up to a country we’re owing over $3.48 billion?
We’re all waiting for Buhari’s move.