Tuesday, October 20, 2020

China targets dissidents in U.S with fake anti-corruption campaign

-

China is targeting hundreds of Chinese dissidents in the United States under the cover of a global anti-corruption effort, using coercive tactics to force critics to return to China, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday.

The campaign, dubbed Operation Fox Hunt, was launched in 2014 as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s sweeping drive against graft. The program’s purported aim was the arrest of thousands of corrupt officials and businessmen who had fled abroad.

But Wray said in reality, Fox Hunt is not an anti-corruption campaign.

“Instead, Fox Hunt is a sweeping bid by General Secretary Xi to target Chinese nationals whom he sees as threats and who live outside China across the world,” the FBI director said. “We’re talking about political rivals, dissidents, and critics seeking to expose China’s extensive human rights violations.”

- Advertisement -

Wray made the remarks in a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington, where he also highlighted Beijing’s use of intermediaries in its “malign influence” campaign to shape U.S. policy.

The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped China from carrying out covert influence operations in the United States, Wray said.

“The punchline is this: All these seemingly inconsequential pressures add up to a policymaking environment in which Americans find themselves held over a barrel by the Chinese Communist Party,” Wray said.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

- Advertisement -

Operation Fox Hunt is run by China’s Ministry of Public Security. Since its launch, hundreds of Chinese “fugitives” have been brought back to China to stand trial, some of them voluntarily, and others after being arrested in foreign countries.

The U.S. and China do not have an extradition treaty. Wray said that while the Chinese government could pursue wanted individuals through formal law enforcement channels, it instead uses covert operatives to threaten and cajole the victims into returning to China.

“These people are essentially engaged in rogue law enforcement, unsanctioned, uncoordinated with U.S. law enforcement here in the United States,” Wray said.

By Wray’s count, there are hundreds of “Fox Hunt victims” in the United States, many of them U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

“The Chinese government wants to force them to return to China, and China’s tactics to accomplish that are shocking,” he said.

Chinese operatives use a variety of coercive tactics against victims.

In one instance, the Chinese government sent an “emissary” to visit the family of a target in the United States after the target could not be located to relay an ominous warning, according to the FBI chief.

“The target had two options: return to China promptly, or commit suicide,” Wray said.

Dissidents who refuse to return to China have had their family members in the United States and China threatened, Wray said.

Making a threat is a criminal offense in the United States. Wray did not say whether any Chinese operatives have been arrested in connection with Fox Hunt.

MUST READ

Goldman to pay over $2 billion in DOJ’s 1MDB Probe

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has reached a long-awaited pact with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $2 billion for the bank’s...

Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another...

Billionaire Robert Smith to Pay $140 million after admitting to tax evasion

Billionaire Robert Smith will pay about $140 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to end a four-year U.S. tax investigation involving assets held in offshore tax...

Mexico’s ex-army chief arrested in US on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering

Former Mexican Defense Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country’s armed forces for six years under then-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested...
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Italian police arrests woman close to Vatican cardinal in corruption probe

The Vatican’s swirling corruption investigation has taken a mysterious new twist with the arrest on an international warrant of a Sardinian woman said to...

Former Mississippi city clerk pleads guilty to money laundering

A former administrator for a Mississippi city has pleaded guilty to money laundering and making false statements on a federal tax return, federal authorities...

Pakistan issues arrest warrant against former President Asif Ali Zardari in corruption case

Pakistan`s anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday issued an arrest warrant against the former president and Pakistan Peoples` Party (PPP) leader...

Judge orders billionaire Greg Lindberg to report to prison after conviction for bribery

Try as he might to extend his freedom, Durham businessman and convicted felon Greg Lindberg will become a federal inmate on Tuesday. Lindberg, the billionaire...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks