Lee Heidhues 4.17.2023
The Red Scare has taken on a new dimension with The New York Times reporting in the best New York Post tabloid fashion.
The Times breathlessly reported on the arrest of two Chinese nationals for running a Cop shop in lower Manhattan to keep tabs on their fellow countrymen in the United States.
It all sounds like something out of a Grade B Spy vs. Spy television show better suited for the era of anti-Communist hysteria. Only this time the presumed bad guys aren’t the Russians.
Excerpted from The New York Times 4.17.2023
For years, thousands of New Yorkers and tourists have walked past an unassuming office building in Lower Manhattan.
On Monday, federal prosecutors unsealed criminal charges accusing two men of helping run an unauthorized Chinese police outpost there, one of more than 100 around the globe used to intimidate and control China’s citizens abroad, and to stamp out criticism of the ruling Communist Party.
The case represents the first time criminal charges have been brought in connection with such a police outpost, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.
The charges against the men, Lu Jianwang, 61, also known as Harry Lu, and Chen Jinping, 59, grew out of an investigation by the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office into the outpost, which conducted its operations without jurisdiction or diplomatic approval.
The two men were arrested on Monday and charged with conspiring to act as agents of the Chinese government, and with obstructing justice. They are said to have used the police outpost to intimidate Chinese dissidents living in the United States, on China’s behalf.
Charges were also unveiled in two related cases: one against 34 Chinese police officers accused of harassing Chinese nationals who lived in the New York area, and another against eight Chinese officials accused of directing a Zoom employee based in China to remove dissidents from the platform.
The Manhattan police outpost, court papers say, was overseen by the Fuzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau, a branch of China’s Ministry of Public Security. It is one of scores of such operations around the world that have unnerved diplomats and intelligence officials.
Top photo – A police officer wearing a pair of “smart glasses” with a facial-recognition system at Zhengzhou East Railway Station in China (AFP / Getty / The Atlantic)