'China forced 10,000 overseas nationals to return since 2014'

The report alleges China is expanding its policing powers overseas and conducting illegal operations on foreign soil. Targeted individuals included Communist Party critics, it said

Agence France-Presse January 19, 2022 23:27:52 IST
'China forced 10,000 overseas nationals to return since 2014'

Representational image. AP

Beijing: Beijing has forced nearly 10,000 Chinese overseas nationals to return since 2014 using coercive means outside the justice system, according to a new report.

The figure could be the "tip of the iceberg", Spain-based rights group Safeguard Defenders reported Tuesday, as China aggressively pursues its nationals overseas.

The report alleges China is expanding its policing powers overseas and conducting illegal operations on foreign soil.

Officially, the targets are people wanted by the Chinese judicial system as part of President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive.

But the NGO details cases where those who criticised the Communist Party had relatives in China harassed and detained in attempts to coerce them to return.

Through two programmes, Operation Fox Hunt and Operation Sky Net, targeted individuals were pressured to return to China against their will due to a combination of non-judicial methods, including kidnappings, harassment and intimidation, according to the report.

"With the Chinese diaspora growing at an ever faster rate as more people seek to leave China...  Beijing has never been more motivated to expand the powers of its security forces overseas," the report said.

Safeguard Defenders cited government data in its estimate that almost 10,000 Chinese nationals had been forcibly returned since 2014.

Official figures from the government's anti-graft watchdog show Beijing returned around 2,500 targeted individuals in the past two years.

But the numbers do not include suspects apprehended for non-economic crimes or those who are not members of China's ruling Communist Party.

The NGO's report alleges intimidation of suspects' family members in China is widespread and Chinese agents are sent to threaten targets in foreign countries.

Sometimes overseas nationals are lured to third countries that have extradition agreements with China, the rights group says.

Operation Fox Hunt was launched in 2014 to track down expatriates wanted for economic crimes while the larger Operation Sky Net kicked off in 2015 and was later folded into Fox Hunt.

China has previously been accused of carrying out kidnappings abroad.

In 2015, bookseller and Swedish citizen Gui Minhai was allegedly abducted from Thailand before reappearing in Chinese custody.

Two years later, billionaire businessman Xiao Jianhua disappeared from a Hong Kong hotel and is believed to be still in custody in China.

In China, the Communist Party-controlled courts convict most people who stand trial.

Read all the Latest News, Trending NewsCricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Updated Date:

also read

G7 countries reiterate concern over unilateral actions by Beijing in East and South China Seas
World

G7 countries reiterate concern over unilateral actions by Beijing in East and South China Seas

The G7 countries also raised the issue of human rights situation in China, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet

Will not allow anyone to harm iron-clad Pakistan-China ties, says Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto
World

Will not allow anyone to harm iron-clad Pakistan-China ties, says Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto

Bilawal reiterated his strong condemnation of Karachi terrorist attack and reaffirmed the Government's commitment to thoroughly investigate the incident

Relations between New Delhi and Beijing will remain strained, says US intelligence community
World

Relations between New Delhi and Beijing will remain strained, says US intelligence community

In its annual threat assessment, the US intelligence community said the expanded military posture by both India and China along the disputed border elevates the risk of armed confrontation between the two nuclear powers