China has denied accusations of an overseas police presence, saying the United States was making “groundless accusations” after officers arrested two men in New York for establishing a secret police station.
“The relevant claims have no factual basis, and there is no such thing as an overseas police station,” spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.
US authorities arrested two men, identified as “Harry” Lu Jianwang, 61, and Chen Jinping, 59, who are both US citizens, on Monday morning.
Under the direction of an official in China, the pair allegedly set up a station where they offered some basic services, such as helping Chinese citizens renew their Chinese driver’s licences.
The US Justice Department also charged 34 officers in China’s Ministry of Public Security with creating and using thousands of fake social media accounts on Twitter and other platforms to harass dissidents abroad.
Mr Wang said China does not interfere in other countries’ sovereignty.
China has shown that it is willing to target its own citizens even after they have left China for various reasons, whether political or economic. The Associated Press has previously reported that a Chinese woman was detained in Dubai at a Chinese-run detention facility.
In recent years, Beijing has been running two separate campaigns to bring suspects wanted mostly for economic crimes back to China as part of an anti-corruption drive.
It has begun flexing its muscles abroad to bring people back home, whether through the use of extradition treaties or unofficial methods, such as putting coercive pressure on relatives back home in China.
“China firmly opposes the smear and political manipulation by the US, who maliciously fabricated the narrative of so-called cross-border suppression and blatantly prosecuted Chinese law enforcement officials,” Mr Wang said.