Chinese Overseas Police Stations Exert Influence in the Middle East

Over the past decade, those interested in China’s role in the Middle East have investigated its network of infrastructure projects known as the Belt and Road Initiative, its diplomatic overtures to Iran and Saudi Arabia, and its heavy dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Mordechai Chaziza turns his attention to a very different issue: Beijing’s below-the-radar efforts to police its citizens living abroad.

According to the human-rights group Safeguard Defenders, . . . China has 102 overseas police stations in 53 countries spanning five continents. The considerable size of Chinese overseas communities has allowed China to field an extensive global presence through these stations. The Chinese overseas service-stations network is managed by China’s Ministry of Public Security. . . . Their official tasks are to help Chinese citizens overseas with administrative issues, such as renewing their driving licenses.

Nevertheless, there are also reports of the stations being involved in “persuade to return” operations (attempts by the Chinese authorities, either directly or via proxies, to get criminal suspects or dissidents to return home for investigation and/or prosecution). According to China’s Ministry of Public Security, between April 2021 and July 2022, the Chinese authorities arrested 230,000 suspects overseas, mainly from Southeast Asia, primarily relating to cases of suspected telecom fraud.

The role of these stations’ networks in advancing China’s interests and extraditing Chinese citizens has naturally caused concern in the West, although their response was slow. More than a dozen countries have launched probes against the stations in recent months, and other countries have significantly scaled back their cooperation with them. For its part, the Chinese government has consistently denied the existence of overseas police-service stations.

According to Safeguard Defenders’ report, Chinese overseas police-service centers are located only in two countries in the Middle East: one in Israel and two in the UAE.

Read more at Diplomat

More about: China, Israel-China relations, Middle East


Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University