by Austin Bay
April 20, 2023
At a New York City press briefing held April 17, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace nailed the core national security issue at stake in The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Police Stations in America Fiasco: "This prosecution reveals the Chinese government's flagrant violation of our nation's sovereignty by establishing a secret police station in the middle of New York City..."
Kudos to Peace for stating the gut truth. Here's the rest of Peace's quote: "...As alleged, the defendants and their co-conspirators were tasked with doing (communist China's) bidding, including helping locate a Chinese dissident living in the United States, and obstructed our investigation by deleting their communications. Such a police station has no place here in New York City -- or any American community."
Peace was addressing the specifics of the case he is prosecuting. Nevertheless, his case and two other Justice Department investigations involving CCP secret police operations in America are tactical (small) examples of the strategic challenge the U.S. and its allies confront -- communist China obeys no rules other than it will do whatever the hell it wants to do.
I add this as a caveat at least for the next two to three years: Beijing will do whatever it wants to do as long as doing what it wants doesn't exact a heavy penalty.
I don't think China's leaders are quite ready for war. Operating secret police stations in the U.S. suggests the CCP is still in the process of undermining American, international and domestic Chinese resistance to its corrupt rule.
However, Xi Jinping is confident. February 2023's cross-country Chinese balloon violated U.S. sovereignty with no cost. President Joe Biden refused to shoot it down until it was over water. Now media report military sources confirm it had a spy mission, gathering intelligence at lazy balloon speed. According to recent reports, recovered debris indicates the balloon carried high-resolution three-dimensional mapping electronics. When analyzed, the data can reveal underground structures. To gather the detailed data requires an aerial platform loitering over the target -- a balloon instead of an airplane or satellite.
It now appears several loitering Chinese spy balloons have violated U.S. sovereignty.
Regular readers of this column know I've followed CCP depredations against the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan and India for over two decades. The CCP has raped the Philippines. In July 2016, The Hague's international arbitration tribunal, relying on the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty (UNCLOS), supported the Philippines' claims that China had violated its territory in the South China Sea by seizing islets and "sea features." China also plundered resources in the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone.
Despite having signed the treaty (and accepting arbitration), the Chinese government callously ignored the verdict and disdained the court's authority.
Having gotten away with disdaining international legal norms, the CCP now has the nerve to flout U.S. sovereignty and launch a terrorist attack on the First Amendment as well as the ethnic Chinese their secret police targeted.
Focused state terrorism is a fair way to frame all three cases DOJ is pursuing. China's communist government covertly planted secret police stations in the U.S. and then proceeded to intimidate, threaten and harass mainland Chinese expatriates, ethnic Chinese dissidents (no matter their passport citizenship) and American citizens who aid the CCP's vulnerable human victims.
Another DOJ senior officer, Acting Assistant Director Kurt Ronnow of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, also spoke candidly. "It is simply outrageous that China's Ministry of Public Security (secret police) thinks it can get away with establishing a secret, illegal police station on U.S. soil to aid its efforts to export repression and subvert our rule of law... This case serves as a powerful reminder that the People's Republic of China will stop at nothing to bend people to their will and silence messages they don't want anyone to hear."
DOJ now has a term for the CCP's police station crimes: Transnational repression schemes. Yes, it reeks of bureaucratese, and avoids my word, "terror," but it's accurate enough for government work.