Chinese secret police have bases in Venice and Bolzano to track down dissidents

Venice – Italy hosts the largest number of “police stationsUnofficial Chinese overseas, as part of a network of more than 100 units in which at least one has appeared 53 countries spread in the world for the purpose of supervising citizens abroad. Preventive measures advocatesan NGO based in Madrid, estimated at 11, with the first set up in Milan by the Wenzhou Public Security Agency in May 2016. Two years later, in 2018, thanks to the promotion of the specific agreement on joint patrols in Italian and Chinese at the service of its traveling citizens Qingtian Public Security has also set up a pilot office in Milan, which is part – according to the Madrid NGO – of a strategy aimed at Overseas Chinese population monitoring. In the first research on the controversial topic presented in September, Safeguard Defenders reported the existence of 54 such stations in the world, prompting investigations in at least 12 countries including Canada (which ordered its closure after a series of investigations), Germany and low. In the latest update, released today, there are another 48 stations, and therefore a hundred in all, spread all over the world, including European countries such as Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, Serbia and Romania. The Italian centers were identified at Rome and Milan, By weight, Venice, Florence, Prato, where the largest Chinese community lives, and in Sicily. In patrolling activities, Safeguard Defenders found evidence of a video surveillance system in residential areas, officially “crime deterrent”. However, local investigations on this point “did not reveal any illegal activity.”

In Italy

Italy, which hosts 330,000 Dragon citizens, according to Istat data from 2021, is cited as a potential breeding ground for Beijing’s influence thanks to the numerous agreements between the two countries, of which the joint patrols agreement is among the most interesting of the issue. However, Beijing has said the offices are only “service stations” to help its citizens with bureaucratic procedures, including renewing passports or driver’s licences, which have become more useful during the more severe stages of the Covid-19 epidemic. 19. The investigation of the NGO was based on general Chinese data and data and was limited to taking into account centers set up by local public security authorities in countries with a large Chinese community. The Spanish civil rights organization also argued that Beijing uses the unofficial stations to “harass, threaten, intimidate and force people back to China”, after evidence of intimidation was accumulated unlike the official channel of the government. “We are monitoring Chinese data and in April we received information from the Ministry of Information indicating that 210,000 people had been persuaded to return in just one year,” said Laura Harth, campaign director at Safeguard Defenders. Some of those forced to return were among the targets of Operation Fox Hunt, a major campaign backed by President Xi Jinping, ostensibly to prosecute corrupt officials who have fled abroad.

Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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