The Expanding International Reach of China’s Police
The Expanding International Reach of China’s Police
China’s Ministry of Public Security has expanded its global activities, increasingly threatening U.S. interests and influencing security sector governance around the world.
In this article
Introduction and summary
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is using China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS), its national police service and domestic security force, across the globe in ways that threaten U.S. national security interests by influencing security sector governance to undermine respect for the rule of law and human rights. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the MPS has significantly expanded its overseas activities, increasingly using security cooperation as a tool to expand its influence and shape global norms.
While the U.S. foreign policy community has focused attention on the military-to-military security cooperation activities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), there is little public understanding of how the MPS’ overseas activities directly compete with U.S. security cooperation programs.
The MPS is a novel tool of CCP foreign policy used to shape in its own favor what the CCP refers to as the “global security governance system.” From Beijing’s perspective, the United States and other liberal democracies have played an outsize role in designing global institutions, rules, and norms. Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Wang Yi said in 2021 that “China did not participate in the development [of the rules-based international order], so why should we comply with [the rules-based international order]?”1
The MPS’ global efforts to implement the CCP’s directive to “actively build a law enforcement security cooperation system with Chinese characteristics” pose significant challenges to the United States and other liberal democracies:2
- The MPS conducts transnational repression operations such as kidnapping and threatening political dissidents, human rights activists, journalists, ethnic and religious minorities, and former officials accused of corruption.
- The MPS operates under the CCP’s own definitions of the rule of law and terrorism, which depart from globally established norms, simultaneously eroding shared recognition of these concepts while creating the pretext for a wide-ranging authority to act abroad.
- MPS norm-breaking behaviors may also encourage other authoritarian regimes to act in similar ways.
These activities stand in sharp contrast to U.S. security cooperation programs that aim to advance U.S. foreign policy interests by bolstering the capacity of partners to counter shared threats while adhering to international law and liberal democratic norms.3
This report maps the universe of MPS overseas activities, which fall into three broad categories:
- Unilateral actions: transnational repression and illegal rendition campaigns
- Bilateral engagement: bilateral meetings, formal agreements, capacity building activities, material assistance, and extraterritorial joint security patrols. This report provides an original data set of the MPS’ global bilateral activities to establish a baseline understanding of MPS activity outside the PRC’s borders
- Multilateral engagement: creation of new international institutions and activities within established bodies such as Interpol
The threats that the MPS’ activities pose to U.S. national interests merit a comprehensive approach. The Center for American Progress recommends the United States respond with the following four-part strategy to reinforce strong security sector governance principles and norms, limit MPS activity within the United States, counter MPS conduct in multilateral organizations, and deepen official and public understanding of MPS malign activities:
- The United States, together with allies and partners, should drive a rule-of-law vision for security sector governance cooperation to draw attention to MPS challenges to the rule of law and human rights while reinforcing alternatives to MPS engagement for international partners.
- Washington should counter transnational repression occurring in the United States by crafting new legislation to deter such activities, fully implementing existing sanctions, and focusing on helping individuals targeted by the institution.
- The United States should elevate its engagement in Interpol and other multilateral institutions to shape the environment in which the MPS acts. It could, for example, reform Interpol, offer alternative candidates for leadership roles in international organizations, and track the MPS’ use of global anti-corruption platforms.
- The United States should build a knowledge base of MPS activity through increased monitoring of and reporting on the MPS, sharing that information with other governments, and pressing for increased transparency of partner governments’ engagement with the MPS.
These policies would help reaffirm the foundations of recognized security sector governance norms in concert with allies and partners; counter and deter the worst of the MPS’ global activities abroad; protect those targeted by the MPS on U.S. soil; and work to set acceptable, transparent standards for security sector activities that respect human rights.
This report comprises four sections: 1) an overview of the MPS and Beijing’s vision for its role abroad; 2) the types of MPS overseas activities; 3) the threats of MPS international activities to U.S. interests; and 4) recommendations for U.S. policymakers.
The MPS and Beijing’s vision for its role abroad
The Ministry of Public Security is the People’s Republic of China’s national police service and domestic security force; its day-to-day responsibilities encompass law enforcement and criminal justice work, from traffic enforcement to countering violent crime.4 The MPS falls under the State Council, the PRC’s equivalent of a cabinet. While the MPS is a PRC government institution, it is de facto controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. The PRC is a party-state, meaning that the ruling CCP holds a monopoly over political power and the levers of government. The party “sits atop the political system, controlling appointments to government and legislative posts, and ensuring its policy priorities are enacted into law and implemented.”5 The MPS, as the primary overseer of domestic security, is one of the party’s main tools to maintain its grip on power. The MPS is also a core part of the CCP’s coercive apparatus, tasked with maintaining stability and social order according to the dictates of CCP leadership.6
The MPS’ mandate
The MPS’ primary mandate is to uphold CCP rule. When police officers are sworn in, they pledge allegiance first to the CCP, second to the country, third to the people, and only fourth to uphold the law.7 The institution’s priorities include political policing such as “stability maintenance” (维稳 wéiwěn), a euphemism for controlling protests, riots, and other forms of dissent.8 The MPS is also an “information management bureaucracy” responsible for securing the PRC’s computer networks and surveillance assets.9 It conducts mass surveillance and data collection throughout China, using “tens of millions of surveillance cameras throughout the country to monitor the general public.”10 The MPS operates the Golden Shield Project, the PRC’s internet surveillance system, which enables online censorship and monitoring.11 The MPS has extended the PRC’s DNA collection campaign from Tibet and Xinjiang across the country, collecting DNA from millions of boys and men in order to “manage and control society.”12 Finally, the MPS has an international mandate to organize exchanges and collaborate with international police and security apparatuses, the topic of this report.
The expansion of the MPS’ international police cooperation activities is driven by two main motivations. First, the MPS is working to advance the overseas security interests of the PRC such as combating terrorism, countering drug trade, and protecting Chinese nationals and companies in foreign countries. Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong has called for the MPS to strengthen law enforcement cooperation to “effectively resolve overseas security risks.”13
MPS overseas activity is expanding in tandem with the expansion of the PRC’s overseas interests, most notably in support of President Xi’s main foreign policy initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). At the BRI Security Cooperation Dialogue in 2017, then-MPS Minister Guo Shengkun expressed his hope that “all [BRI participants] will establish common security and cooperative security concepts, establish and improve the ‘Belt and Road’ security cooperation mechanism.”14 At the same conference, former MPS Minister Meng Jianzhu called for BRI participants to “deepen law enforcement and security cooperation.”15
Second, the MPS’ global activities are driven by Beijing’s discontent with the current international liberal democratic order, often characterized by “limits to state authority, such as binding international law and unalienable individual rights.”16 Instead, President Xi’s vision for a global order is one that would permit unchallenged CCP domestic power and create the conditions for the CCP’s governance model to coexist with democracies by rejecting universal values such as respect for the rule of law and the protection of human rights.17 To achieve this vision, Beijing has advocated for the supreme authority of the state to determine its own political and economic system while also pushing back against any perceived infringement upon its own sovereignty such as international monitoring and sanctioning.18
Beijing has been clear about its intent to assert greater influence over global security norms and the MPS’ role in achieving this vision. In his keynote speech at the 2017 Interpol General Assembly, President Xi declared that “the current global security governance system has many incompatibilities and should be reformed and improved.”19 That same year, the PRC’s National Public Security International Cooperation Work Conference—a convening of the PRC’s top public security and legal officials—gave the MPS a broad international mission mandate, calling on it to “grasp the new characteristics of the internationalization of public security work.”20 In 2019, then-MPS Minister Zhao Kezhi directed the MPS to grow its international profile to enhance its power to influence global security norms, calling for the ministry to build a “new system of public security international cooperation work” to ensure that CCP foreign policies are implemented.21 These calls to action are clear directions to the MPS to be more active abroad.
CCP goals dictate the MPS’ international work. In 2018, then-MPS Minister Zhao issued requirements for the MPS’ international cooperation activities, which included “maintaining absolute loyalty” to the party as officers carry out their work.22 Liao Jinrong, director of the MPS’ International Cooperation Bureau, stated in a 2017 interview that Beijing would expand the “tentacles” of international police force cooperation wherever the CCP perceives that PRC national interests are in danger.23
The MPS’ international activities
The Ministry of Public Security’s global activities fall into three categories: unilateral actions, such as transnational repression campaigns; bilateral engagements such as meetings, formal agreements, capacity building activities and material assistance to peer security apparatuses, and extraterritorial joint security patrols; and multilateral engagement, including creating new, alternative international institutions and activities within established institutions such as Interpol.
What is transnational repression?
According to Freedom House:
The term transnational repression describes the ways a government reaches across national borders to intimidate, silence, or harm an exile, refugee, or member of diaspora who they perceive as a threat and have a political incentive to control. Methods of transnational repression include assassinations, physical assaults, detention, rendition, unlawful deportation, unexplained or enforced disappearance, physical surveillance or stalking, passport cancellation or control over other documents, Interpol abuse, digital threats, spyware, cyberattacks, social media surveillance, online harassment, and harassment of or harm to family and associates who remain in the country of origin.24
Unilateral action: Transnational repression and rendition campaigns
The MPS plays a key role in the CCP’s ongoing, global campaign of transnational repression, most notably through its rendition campaigns but likewise through other actions to pressure and control individuals or communities beyond the PRC’s borders. Freedom House highlights three distinct characteristics of the CCP’s transnational repression efforts:
First, the campaign targets many groups, including multiple ethnic and religious minorities, political dissidents, human rights activists, journalists, and former insiders accused of corruption. Second, it spans the full spectrum of tactics: from direct attacks like renditions, to co-opting other countries to detain and render exiles, to mobility controls, to threats from a distance like digital threats, spyware, and coercion by proxy. Third, the sheer breadth and global scale of the campaign is unparalleled. Freedom House’s conservative catalogue of direct, physical attacks since 2014 covers 214 cases originating from China, far more than any other country.25
The MPS has implemented two major global rendition campaigns: Operation Fox Hunt (猎狐行动 lièhú xíngdòng) and Operation Sky Net (天网行动 tiān wǎng xíngdòng). Operation Fox Hunt is an initiative launched in 2014 to locate and extradite alleged Chinese fugitives who fled overseas.26 In 2015, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection launched Operation Sky Net, to coordinate rendition efforts across multiple PRC government agencies.27 Operation Fox Hunt is now subsumed under Sky Net. In addition to using these campaigns to root out real corruption, President Xi and the CCP have used them to purge political rivals, silence critics, and eliminate perceived foreign intelligence risks.28
Renditions represent some of the MPS’ most egregious norm-breaking behavior. MPS authorities have conducted Operation Fox Hunt missions overseas without informing the local country’s legal or law enforcement apparatus, and in contradiction with local and international law.29 These renditions are among the MPS’ most clandestine activities and therefore extremely difficult to track.
Nonetheless, substantial evidence has emerged of Fox Hunt and Sky Net operations spanning the globe, including in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that from 2016 to 2019, multiple PRC officials directed individuals to “engage in efforts to coerce” a Chinese citizen living in the United States to return to the PRC as part of Operation Fox Hunt.30 This campaign included coercing the target’s father to travel to the United States from the PRC to encourage the target to return to the PRC, sending harassing messages over social media to the target’s daughter and her friends, and leaving a threatening note on the target’s door that read, “If you are willing to go back to mainland and spend 10 years in prison, your wife and children will be all right. That’s the end of this matter!”31
In March 2022, in a different case, the DOJ alleged that Sun Hoi Ying, who is still at large in the PRC, acted and conspired to act in the United States as an unregistered PRC government agent while conducting an Operation Fox Hunt mission.32 According to the charging documents, Sun allegedly surveilled and pressured an ethnic-Chinese U.S. citizen to return to the PRC as part of an anti-corruption investigation.33 The target’s daughter, a U.S. citizen, was allegedly held against her will in the PRC for eight months after visiting family, in an effort to pressure the target to return to the PRC.34 The DOJ says that Sun Hoi Ying, the same PRC agent, while pursuing a different target, coordinated and co-conspired with an unnamed local U.S. law enforcement officer to threaten and pressure the latter target to return to the PRC.35
Under Operation Fox Hunt, MPS officers captured more than 6,000 targets in more than 120 countries from 2014 to 2020, according to the Global Times, a CCP-aligned newspaper.36 CCP media is candid about the success and reach of these operations: China Daily reported that 213 targets were captured in Southeast Asia in 2015, and additional PRC media report that Operation Fox Hunt missions have been conducted in the United States, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Spain, South Korea, and Vietnam.37 When expanded to include Operation Sky Net, more than 8,000 individuals were arrested from 2015 to 2020.38
Some foreign governments have coordinated with the PRC government on these missions, according to PRC government sources. For example, the governments of Argentina, France, and Malaysia have cooperated with the MPS to help it arrest individuals targeted by Fox Hunt operations.39 Foreign government coordination on potential Operation Fox Hunt missions requires careful due diligence given the MPS’ practice of pursuing criminal charges for political activities.
The extralegal kidnapping of Gui Minhai
The case of Gui Minhai is the most notorious of the MPS’ global rendition campaigns. Gui, an ethnic-Chinese naturalized Swedish citizen, worked in Hong Kong at Causeway Bay Books, which published and sold books with unflattering stories about the political elite in Beijing, including stories about President Xi Jinping’s wife.40 In 2015, Gui disappeared while staying at his vacation home in Thailand.41 Three months later, Gui resurfaced in China, confessing on PRC official state television to a decade-old, alleged hit-and-run case. Many experts have contended that his confession was a false product of coercion.42 Gui was one of five individuals connected to the bookstore who were detained in late 2015 but the only one to be kidnapped on foreign soil. Official PRC state media confirmed MPS involvement in the case, although the PRC government claims Gui surrendered himself to the MPS.43 Thai government statements indicate MPS officers acted without the Thai government’s knowledge.44
Gui was released after two years in prison but forced to remain in the PRC and required to report to local police regularly.45 Then, in 2018, Gui was seized and taken away by plainclothes police officers while traveling by train to Beijing with Swedish diplomats. He was charged with meeting with the Swedish diplomats illegally and passing them secret information.46 In 2020, a PRC court sentenced Gui to jail for 10 years for “illegally providing intelligence overseas,” a sentence he is still serving.47
To understand the MPS’ international activities, CAP drew primarily from information from PRC embassy websites around the world to create a database tracking the MPS’ bilateral foreign engagements from 1995 to 2021. This data set covers bilateral exchanges and police diplomacy, formal agreements, capacity building activities, material assistance, and extraterritorial joint security patrols.
The data set offers insight into how the MPS behaves abroad and where it is being well-received by foreign governments. While public information on the MPS’ overseas activities is limited and nontransparent, the database is a comprehensive public record of MPS overseas activities to date.
Bilateral police diplomacy
As top MPS officials pursue stronger government-government relationships, their bilateral engagement typically occurs with their institutional equals but also with heads of state and other officials in charge of national security, defense, and internal affairs.
From 1997 to 2021, senior MPS officials held 114 bilateral meetings with foreign counterparts.48
The frequency of bilateral engagements generally increased over that period, with more than 60 percent of all identified MPS bilateral exchanges occurring during President Xi’s time in power. The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 significantly decreased exchanges starting in that year, and the trend continued in 2021 as the PRC remained effectively in lockdown.
The topic of “stability maintenance” (维稳 wéiwěn), an MPS domestic priority and a euphemism for controlling protests, riots, and other forms of dissent, is a central theme of MPS bilateral public security exchanges. Topics such as maintaining stability (including social stability, regional stability, and national stability), and managing large-scale events such as protests and riots were mentioned in at least 41 different bilateral meetings with officials from 18 different countries.49 Most of these 18 countries were designated as “partly free” or “not free” under Freedom House’s Global Freedom Status framework.50 Since President Xi assumed power in 2013, stability maintenance has doubled as a topic of discussion during MPS bilateral meetings, indicating that an increasing number of foreign governments seem interested in engaging with the MPS on issues such as controlling protests, riots, and other forms of political dissent.
Counterterrorism was the most discussed topic in bilateral exchanges, aligned with the MPS’ role as the PRC’s lead organization responsible for counterterrorism matters.51 Other common topics in bilateral discussions have included transnational crime, counter-drug efforts, law enforcement cooperation and capacity building, and border security.
The MPS has focused its bilateral outreach on Asia. Governments in Asia were involved in 60 percent of bilateral exchanges, and almost half of those involved countries that border China. The MPS’ bilateral exchanges with European governments made up 13 percent, governments across Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa both accounted for around 10 percent each, and North America just more than 4 percent. The MPS held two bilateral exchanges with Middle Eastern governments. Fiji was the only country in Oceania to hold a bilateral exchange with the MPS.
The MPS signs formal documents with foreign governments to institutionalize and foster future international police cooperation. These agreements are most often signed at bilateral meetings between the MPS and foreign counterparts.
According to the CAP database, the MPS has signed 51 agreements with 31 different foreign governments.52 These formal agreements include protocols of cooperation (合作议定 hézuò yìdìng), cooperation agreements (合作协议 hézuò xiéyì), memorandums of cooperation (合作备忘录 hézuò bèiwànglù), memorandums of understanding (谅解备忘录 liàngjiě bèiwànglù), cooperation documents (合作文件 hézuò wénjiàn), and letters of intent for cooperation (合作意向书 hézuò yìxiàngshū). A memorandum of understanding likely indicates a mutual understanding of the goals of cooperation, while a memorandum of cooperation indicates a greater level of determination by both parties to cooperate on shared interests. The database identifies 19 cooperation agreements, 13 memorandums of understanding, 11 cooperation documents, four protocols of cooperation, two letters of intent for cooperation, one readmission agreement, and one memorandum of cooperation.
Some MPS agreements raise transparency concerns. In 2015, the MPS and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) signed a secret readmission agreement—a binding arrangement to return non-nationals to another country.53 Both the Swiss parliament and foreign affairs committee were not aware of the agreement at the time of its signing.54 Switzerland has concluded about 50 similar agreements with other foreign governments and published their contents, but the MPS agreement did not come to light until 2020 when NZZ am Sonntag, a Swiss newspaper, reported about the agreement and its potential renewal five years after it was signed.55 Later that same year, Safeguard Defenders, a human rights advocacy group, published the text of the agreement.56
The agreement states MPS officials “will be invited …without official status” to Switzerland for up to two weeks in order to interview alleged Chinese citizens overstaying their visas, evaluate if they are Chinese citizens, and then submit reports to the Swiss government on each individual interview conducted.57 The Swiss agreement also committed to keeping the identity of the MPS agents confidential and contained no clauses regarding supervising MPS agents outside their work functions with SEM.58 According to professor Margaret Lewis, an expert on Chinese criminal justice and human rights, it is unusual that the PRC would send officials abroad to interview low-level targets such as individuals overstaying their visas.59 Rather, she argues that it is more likely that MPS agents would travel abroad to interview “people who are … of interest to the PRC government.”60 Given that MPS agents would be invited to Switzerland without official status, they could in turn potentially travel to the 26 other countries within the Schengen Area. SEM stated that the agreement resulted in one MPS visit to Switzerland in 2016.61 That same year, 13 individuals were returned to China from Switzerland.62
An April 2022 security agreement between the PRC and Solomon Islands has reinforced concerns in Washington and among allies in the region about the military-to-military security cooperation activities of the People’s Liberation Army. In fact, the potential domestic security-related cooperation between the PRC and Solomon Islands also merits close attention, and considered U.S. policy engagement with Solomon Islands’ authorities. A leaked draft of the security agreement stated that “Solomon Islands may, according to its own needs, request China to send police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces to Solomon Islands to assist in maintaining social order.”63
The PRC’s public security cooperation with Egypt demonstrates the potential downstream human-rights-related consequences of formal security cooperation agreements. In June 2017, the Egyptian government announced the signing of an MPS-Ministry of Interior cooperation agreement, which would address “the spread of terrorism and extremist ideologies.”64 Weeks later, Egypt detained more than 200 Uyghurs residing in Egypt, a step some suspect came in response to a request from Beijing.65 Egypt is also one of the largest recipients of U.S. security cooperation, to the tune of more than $50 billion since 1978.66 To date, it is unclear if the U.S. government has evaluated whether or how U.S. and MPS assistance activities, including for training and equipment for Egyptian law enforcement entities, have overlapped and potentially run counter to U.S. security assistance objectives.
Capacity building cooperation
The MPS devotes significant resources to capacity building efforts with foreign public security apparatuses. President Xi announced at the 2017 Interpol General Assembly that the MPS would seek to “train 20,000 law enforcement officers in developing countries.”67 According to PRC state media, the MPS has since achieved this goal.68
In total, CAP identified 77 MPS training sessions for foreign public security forces. The overwhelming majority—73 of the 77—have occurred during President Xi’s time in power, with a noticeable spike from 2017 to 2018, likely coinciding with the policy directive from the 2017 speech at the Interpol General Assembly. Asia received the most training sessions—almost 40 percent. Africa received the next-largest share at 35 percent. Latin America and the Caribbean received 12 percent. Oceania and Europe received 8 percent and 4 percent, respectively. In the Middle East, only Qatar received MPS training. In North America, Mexico took part in one MPS training.
The MPS has trained police from 10 different countries (Argentina, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Myanmar, North Korea, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan) on stability maintenance (维稳 wéiwěn), a euphemism for controlling protests, riots, and other forms of dissent.
- In Myanmar, Panama, and Papua New Guinea, the MPS trained police counterparts in large-scale event security.69
- Police in Argentina and Tunisia have been trained by the MPS in maintaining and securing stability.70
- In Fiji and Liberia, police were trained in riot control tactics.71
- The MPS trained police in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan on China’s use of facial recognition technology to maintain order at tourist sites.72
- The MPS trained North Korean counterparts in 2021 on “disaster response capabilities,” which appeared to some extent to be “aimed at bolstering Pyongyang’s ability to put down unrest by force.”73
The MPS also held a “Police Public Relations Education and Training Seminar,” where it taught Singaporean officials how to deal with the media during public security crises.74
The MPS is increasing its training on cyber and technology topics.75 Specific topics include electronic data forensics and technology, network attack and defense technology, enhancing law enforcement capabilities with big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and applying big data and AI in counterterrorism efforts.76 Developing cyber capabilities for internal public security, such as utilizing AI and big data for social control, are increasingly becoming domestic priorities for the CCP. These topics collectively reflect the sectors in which the PRC is developing cutting-edge technologies—and where it can therefore develop global use frameworks more easily than through traditional policing norms due to the technology’s novel nature.
The MPS has offered training sessions on China’s legal and judicial systems to officials in 12 countries.77 MPS-led legal education has increased significantly under President Xi. Foreign police officers have attended training sessions on China’s judicial system, counterterrorism legislation, counter-drug legislation, and cybersecurity laws. Some PRC legal training sessions to foreign officials have influenced legal development in other countries by meeting demand signals from those countries. For example, Edwin Ngonyani, Tanzania’s deputy minister for transportation and communications, made public remarks at an August 2017 “China-Tanzania New Media Roundtable” calling for greater government control of the internet and increased cyber tracking abilities.78 He stated, “Our Chinese friends have managed to block … media in their country and replaced them with their homegrown sites that are safe, constructive, and popular. We aren’t there yet, but while we are still using these platforms we should guard against their misuse.”79 In November 2017, Tanzanian officials attended a two-week training program for BRI countries on how to manage public opinion online.80 In June 2018, seven months later, Tanzania’s government passed severe internet restrictions, closing all unregistered blogs and websites.81
MPS police training is driven by dual purposes. On one hand, the MPS meets demand signals of its foreign counterparts. On the other hand, MPS training comes with implicit and sometimes explicit expectations that partners pursue positive policies toward Beijing. Shan Daguo, the vice dean of the Criminal Investigation Police University of China, delivered a clear message to Uzbek police authorities participating in an MPS counter-drug training course:
I hope you will continue to pay attention to and care about the development of friendly relations with China after your return to your home country, become friendly messengers of [the] Chinese people, and contribute to the joint maintenance of regional security and stability.82
Political drivers are not a unique MPS phenomenon; many countries use police cooperation to influence global practices.83 Nonetheless, political messaging tied to concerning elements in MPS training run counter to principles such as transparency, rule of law, due process, and respect for human rights, which democracies seek to advance with these same governments.
The MPS also provides material assistance to foreign police and security apparatuses, ranging from donations of police equipment and investigative technologies to the construction of facilities for partner security institutions. Many of these contributions appear to be typical police equipment, some of which could indeed increase the investigative effectiveness of partner countries’ police forces. But the MPS has also provided equipment and technologies that could easily be used for illiberal purposes; given the MPS’ track record and organization goals, this is likely.
The CAP database shows that from 2006 to 2021, the MPS provided material assistance to 22 different countries on 39 different occasions. The MPS transferred police vehicles, bulletproof vests, long-distance night vision devices, uniforms, reflective vests, gas masks, computers, and printers to foreign partners. The MPS also supported construction projects—rehabilitating and expanding a police academy in Tanzania, constructing new facilities for Tajikistan’s counternarcotics agency, and building a new police academy in Costa Rica.84 After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MPS delivered COVID-19-related personal protective equipment (PPE) to Argentina, Cambodia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
For example, the MPS delivered “police supplies” to the Bangladesh Ministry of Home Affairs with the intention of “maintain[ing] social security and stability in Bangladesh.”85 In 2006, the MPS helped the Pakistani Ministry of Interior build a DNA laboratory,86 and did the same for Argentina in 2018.87 The MPS’ use of DNA surveillance within China to track and detail Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities and to enhance surveillance over the majority Han population should raise concerns for these recipient countries.88
The MPS has also built basing facilities for partner security apparatuses. In October 2021, the MPS agreed to construct a base for an organized crime response unit for Tajikistan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.89 The base will be located in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor. The base reflects Beijing’s and Tajikistan’s shared interests in security along the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan border, especially in light of the 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover.
Extraterritorial joint security patrols
The MPS also conducts extraterritorial joint security patrols with certain foreign police services, which are intended to protect Chinese tourists and overseas Chinese citizens during the height of tourist season, according to CCP news sources.90 For example, the MPS has conducted bilateral joint patrols with police officers in Croatia, Italy, and Serbia.91
The MPS has also conducted multilateral law enforcement patrols with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand along the Mekong River, under the “China-Laos-Myanmar-Thailand Mekong River Joint Patrol Law Enforcement Operation.” The operation aims to increase shipping security, provide opportunities for the MPS to gain familiarity with the region, and improve intelligence sharing and coordination.92 According to PRC government sources, this joint patrol was conducted at least 114 times from 2011 to 2022, more than 10 times per year, on average.93 In 2020, one of the three PRC law enforcement vessels that participated in the patrols remained after they were over and “continued to conduct a one-week combat drill in Laos.”94
Multilateral cooperation efforts
In its effort to counter and offer an alternative model for global security governance, the CCP has created new international organizations and worked to build influence within existing multilateral institutions. The MPS’ primary institution-building effort is the creation of the International Law Enforcement Cooperation Forum on the New Eurasian Continental Bridge Safety Corridor, commonly shortened to the Lianyungang Forum (连云港论坛 Liányúngǎng lùntán). The most notable example of MPS efforts to shape norms in existing multilateral bodies can be found in its behaviors within Interpol.
The Lianyungang Forum
President Xi used his 2017 Interpol address to draw attention to the Lianyungang Forum, a Beijing-led international law enforcement and security forum created to expand cooperation between the MPS and other security and law enforcement agencies around the globe. At the forum, the MPS holds international convenings, trains foreign police officers, provides opportunities for information sharing, and promotes Chinese security technologies. MPS leadership has also called for the Lianyungang Forum to increase cooperation in “intelligence exchanges, case investigations, joint operations, and rapid repatriation.”95
The Lianyungang Forum convenes police and security sector officials from 30 to 40 countries annually. International organizations such as Interpol and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have also sent representatives. Participants have ranged from liberal democracies—including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, and South Africa—to authoritarian regimes such as Russia and Belarus.96
The Lianyungang Forum, originally designed to coordinate security within the BRI, has evolved into a wider mechanism for pursuing MPS interests. The first Lianyungang Forum was held in 2015 in Jiangsu Province’s port city of Lianyungang under the theme of “establishing a new structure for law enforcement and security cooperation” along the New Asia-Europe Continental Bridge, one of the main corridors of the BRI.97 The themes of the annual forum, last held in December 2020,98 also reflect the interests of participants. For example, the theme of 2020’s convening was the “Security Situation and International Law Enforcement Cooperation under the Normalization of Pandemic Prevention and Control,” a clear response to the COVID-19 pandemic.99
The MPS hosts a police equipment and public security technology and equipment exhibition alongside the Lianyungang Forum, with the stated purpose of driving the development of China’s domestic security equipment industry.100 The exhibition features thousands of products and technologies, including video surveillance and image processing technology, drones, facial recognition systems, smart-transportation and smart-city technologies, armored vehicles, and weapons.101 Exhibitors include more than 200 security-related companies with close ties to Beijing, such as Huawei, ZTE, Dahua, and Hikvision.102 The Jiangsu Security Association, an organizing body for the Lianyungang Forum, praised the platform for providing Chinese security companies with more business opportunities, as private contractors frequently use the expo to secure new business agreements.103
The expo has featured Chinese companies that are now on the Treasury Department’s Non-Specially Designated Nationals Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List.104 The security technology and equipment expo demonstrates clear coordination between the MPS and Chinese technology companies, a common problem for foreign governments and businesses trying to distinguish the public and private sectors in China’s military-industrial complex.
Over time, the forum agenda has expanded to include topics beyond day-to-day policing. Since 2017, Lianyungang has also held a subforum on securing transnational oil and gas pipelines.105 During the first subforum, attendees agreed to establish regular meetings and consultations, intelligence and information exchanges, and risk assessment and early warning mechanisms, as well as to develop law enforcement capacity building to maintain oil and gas pipeline security.106 The following year, participants agreed to establish a port city security cooperation mechanism, an international train security cooperation mechanism, a transnational oil and gas pipeline security cooperation mechanism, and security mechanisms specific to certain BRI projects.107 This wide range of topics demonstrates the growing overseas connections that the MPS is striving to build.
The Lianyungang Forum has also been used as an opportunity to train foreign police officers.108 According to Chinese government documents, as of 2018, 600 officers had been trained at the Lianyungang training center.109
Finally, the Lianyungang Forum has been used as a coordination platform from which to conduct arrests abroad. In 2018, the Chinese government reported that Lianyungang police arrested 36 fugitives abroad via cooperation facilitated by the forum.110 In 2017, China and South Korea exchanged more than 50 fugitives through a Lianyungang cooperation mechanism.111
The MPS also engages with existing multilateral institutions such as the International Criminal Police Organization, otherwise known as Interpol. The MPS uses Interpol to pursue political dissidents via the Red Notice system, counter to the true criminal investigative purposes of the system.
With 195 member states, Interpol seeks to facilitate international police cooperation to share and access data related to crimes and criminals.112 Each Interpol member hosts within its state territory an Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) office, which connects a country’s law enforcement apparatus with other countries’ apparatuses and with Interpol’s General Secretariat via a global police communication network.113 NCBs can perform many functions, such as sharing criminal data and cooperating on investigations.114 Interpol can also issue Red Notices, requests to law enforcement agencies across the globe to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition or surrender.115 China’s NCB is part of the MPS’ International Cooperation Bureau.116
Beijing and the MPS are frequently accused of abusing the Red Notice system.117 Interpol’s constitution states that the organization’s aims are to ensure and promote cooperation between police authorities within the limit of the law, following the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Interpol is forbidden under Article 3 of its constitution from undertaking “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”118 However, Beijing and the MPS have reportedly violated Interpol’s rules while facing few consequences for issuing Red Notices against Chinese nationals abroad for what seem to be transparently political purposes.119
MPS manipulation of Interpol Red Notices
Dolkun Isa, the president of the World Uyghur Congress, has faced challenges after being the subject of an MPS-initiated Red Notice in 1997. When he lived in China, Isa organized a large-scale student protest in 1988, “call[ing] for democracy and an end to the mistreatment and oppression of the Uyghur.”120 He was then placed under house arrest for four months, expelled from Xinjiang University, and eventually fled China.121 The PRC issued the Red Notice in 1997 and then listed Isa in 2003 as one of its most-wanted terrorists,122 a charge that Isa and his supporters maintain is politically motivated.123 The Red Notice and terrorist designation has severely obstructed Isa’s advocacy work. Isa was detained for two days in South Korea in 2009, on his way to attend the World Forum for Democratization in Asia.124 In 2017, Isa was forced to leave U.N. premises at the behest of Chinese diplomats and U.N. Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo because he intended to speak about the oppression of Uyghurs at the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.125 Also in 2017, Isa was detained in Italy as he headed to the Italian Senate to draw attention to restrictive policies toward Uyghurs in China.126 In 2018, Interpol removed the Red Notice against Isa.127
Chinese activist Wang Zaigang has also faced transnational repression as the result of the MPS issuing what he believes is a politically motivated Red Notice seeking his arrest. Wang moved to the United States in 2014 and has been an active participant in the overseas Chinese democracy movement.128 Wang believes his Red Notice was issued as retaliation for his pro-democracy activism, including attending events to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre and protesting at President Xi’s Seattle visit in 2015.129 The Red Notice claims Wang committed collusion in a construction project bidding process in his home province of Heilongjiang.130 In 2016, Wang was arrested in the U.S. pursuant to the Red Notice.131 In 2017, a federal immigration court in Hawaii granted Wang asylum.132
The challenges to U.S. interests posed by MPS global activities
The nature and scope of the Ministry of Public Security’s increasing international activities pose several challenges to the United States and others that support an international rules-based order. First, the MPS has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the rule of law, due process, and fundamental human rights. It has sent operatives abroad to execute transnational repression actions without obtaining permission or providing foreknowledge to countries in whose territories the MPS acts. It has forcibly returned individuals it deems a threat through extralegal means and has abused the Interpol Red Notice system to target overseas Uyghurs and other critics of the Chinese Communist Party. Its conduct undermines the well-being of individuals within China and overseas.
Second, the MPS’ international police cooperation efforts are normalizing the institution and expanding its influence in advancing the CCP’s vision to reshape security governance norms, in direct competition with U.S. strategy and vision for security cooperation with partners across the globe. The MPS builds relationships with foreign governments and security apparatuses, including through seemingly legitimate methods, developing formal and informal influence and access to pursue broader aims. Many of the states receiving PRC assistance are also recipients of U.S. assistance. The MPS also provides opportunities for other governments to adopt illiberal practices from training in crowd control and counterterrorism tactics to making available Chinese technology to replicate the PRC government’s tactics of repression in their own territories. Many of these contributions could indeed increase the investigative effectiveness of partner countries’ police forces. But when coupled with MPS training that aims to suppress dissent, and given that MPS-provided equipment and technologies could be used for illiberal purposes, the effect risks threats to the civil rights of citizens of countries receiving the assistance.
Even seemingly apolitical MPS activities can be problematic. MPS cyber-operations training likely includes lessons on how to install and maintain surveillance networks and analyze and integrate complex data sources into policing. While increased cyber capabilities for law enforcement can be a good thing if well-regulated in a democratic society, increased cyber capabilities for police forces operating under authoritarian governments can easily undermine personal freedoms and pose risks for U.S.-provided technologies. Likewise, transfer of technologies such as DNA-analysis equipment could increase the investigative effectiveness of a partner country’s police force, but MPS’ use of DNA surveillance to track Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities within its own borders should prompt concern that its partners could replicate its illiberal policing practices.133
Finally, Beijing’s efforts to implement its own global governance vision pose a direct challenge to liberal democratic principles, including the rule of law. For example, Beijing has actively pushed an alternative definition of human rights by advocating for “human rights with Chinese characteristics,” which are defined by the state rather than viewed as moral or inalienable rights of individuals.134 President Xi often purposefully misconstrues the term “rule of law” to mean the “rule by law” governance system of the People’s Republic of China in which the CCP uses the law as a political tool without the consent of the governed in order to achieve its political aims.135 The PRC also operates under a broader definition of terrorism than the United States and Europe, which Beijing wishes to leverage to target political dissidents and ethnic minorities. In the United States and Europe, terrorism is typically understood as “[a] criminal act that is intentionally violent, or is dangerous to human life” with the intent of “coercing or intimidating the government into altering foreign or domestic policy.”136 While the PRC’s definition of terrorism also deems illegal similar criminal acts, it includes acts that would be considered legal in liberal democracies, such as protesting. For example, the PRC’s 2015 Counterterrorism Law also outlaws “advocacy or behavior” aimed at “realizing political or ideology objectives through means of violence, destruction, intimidation, or other methods of creating social panic.”137 The Counterterrorism Law’s intentionally broad language allows PRC authorities to apply a label of terrorism to almost any political act the party perceives as threatening its monopoly on power.
And fundamentally, it is the PRC’s domestic repression and the MPS’ mandate to uphold the CCP’s rule that discredits the MPS’ international security cooperation efforts. As stated above, the PRC’s domestic legal apparatus operates fundamentally differently than those of liberal democracies, with a different interpretation of the concept of “rule of law.” Rather than holding all people, institutions, and entities accountable to the same laws, the CCP uses the law to control Chinese society while concurrently excluding itself from that same legal accountability.138 Statements made by Sun Xinyang, then-member of the Standing Committee of the Jiangxi Provincial Party Committee and the secretary of the Provincial Discipline Inspection Commission, reveal the CCP’s intent to act in extralegal ways as it seeks to apprehend allegedly corrupt individuals and dissidents: “overseas is not outside the law; fleeing abroad is not a way out.”139 The MPS is the CCP’s main tool in extending this framework abroad.
The CCP’s global security perspective is driven by its desire to stay in power. The CCP’s security sector behaviors, ranging from unilateral actions such as Operation Fox Hunt and Operation Sky Net to detain political targets to creating regional institutions to proliferate Chinese technologies potentially wielded for illiberal means, are incompatible with principles including the rule of law, accountability, or respect for human rights—concepts that underpin the liberal democratic order that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and its allies. The United States and other democracies have identified Beijing’s desire to reshape global norms but have not focused specifically on the CCP’s intentions to shape security forces and security sector governance around the world to be more malleable for CCP interests. The United States and its allies must find ways to counter these ambitions, particularly in the realm of security sector governance, in an era of strategic competition.
Despite the identified risks of MPS overseas behavior, not everything the MPS does inherently challenges the rule of law, human rights, and U.S. interests. Many governments engage in comparable bilateral and multilateral public security activities. For example, MPS donations of personal protective equipment during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic were a net positive for the global community. Rather, risks associated with MPS behavior in any category of overseas activity depend on the content of the engagement and how partner countries work with the MPS.
Countering the Ministry of Public Security’s increasingly malign role in the People’s Republic of China’s foreign policy toolkit requires the United States to take a multiprong approach. A core objective should be to counter and deter the MPS’ willingness and ability to conduct activities abroad that break local and/or international law, undermine international norms on security sector governance, and endanger civilians. At the same time, the United States must address the fact that in certain circumstances the MPS is meeting public security demand signals from countries that share the PRC’s authoritarian values.
The United States should pursue a four-part strategy that focuses on: 1) driving a rule-of-law vision for security sector governance cooperation with international partners; 2) countering transnational repression occurring in the United States; 3) engaging in Interpol and other multilateral institutions; and 4) building a knowledge base of MPS activity.
Drive a rule-of-law vision for security sector governance cooperation with international partners
Rally an international coalition to reaffirm a rule-of-law-based vision for security sector governance cooperation. The PRC and liberal democracies have advanced competing visions of the principles that should guide international law enforcement cooperation; U.S. policymakers should work with allies and partners to protect the definitions, interpretations, and consensus around core liberal democratic ideals such as the rule of law, transparency, and respect for human rights. Beijing’s and the MPS’ willingness to operate under alternative definitions of concepts such as “terrorism” and “the rule of law” pose long-term threats to the consensus that undergirds the current international order. The Biden administration should convene like-minded allies and partners for an international summit on security sector governance, focused on assessing how MPS activities threaten shared interests, defining norms, condemning practices that violate international law and impinge on human rights protections, and reaffirming international consensus on best practices for security cooperation. The administration could use this opportunity to highlight its own reforms in security sector governance, such as efforts on mitigating civilian harm and working to prioritize human rights in security cooperation, as areas for collaboration with allies and partners—and set a clear example of the difference in approach between U.S. and PRC security cooperation goals and tactics.
Target outreach to countries receiving MPS assistance. The United States and its international partners should conduct targeted outreach to governments that work closely with the MPS—particularly countries that also receive U.S. assistance—to understand their motives and consider whether alternative U.S.- or partner-led programs could address their needs. The goal of outreach should be to ensure PRC programs are not filling voids that U.S. programs could be filling, while also gathering information on PRC efforts to shape norms and policies around the rule of law and other important principles.
Reinforce U.S. assistance alternatives. The United States cannot simply warn other countries about the dangers of the MPS without offering a viable alternative; it must offer a positive vision for public security and international police cooperation to foreign partners. It should increase funding for programs such as the State Department’s International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA) and activities sponsored by its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).140 Congress should mandate that the INL increase its outreach efforts to better understand the perspectives of potential partners.
Counter transnational repression occurring in the United States
Assess gaps in legal authorities to fight against transnational repression in the United States. U.S. agencies at the front lines fighting against transnational repression, such as the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI, should meet with at-risk communities, civil society, and advocacy groups to discuss how best to deter different types of transnational repression, what legal authorities are most effective in responding to MPS activities, and ways to counter these activities while protecting civil rights and personal privacy.
Write new law to better equip U.S. officials in the fight against transnational repression in the United States. There is no specific provision in U.S. code that outlaws foreign actors from conducting transnational repression actions on U.S. soil. Prosecution of transnational repression cases relies on a patchwork of laws that empower different authorities to address some parts of transnational repression efforts. In addition, many of the existing laws are outdated because they do not account for the use of the internet—for example, digital threats, cyberattacks, and spyware—as a means of conducting transnational repression. Legislation should first define transnational repression in clear legal terms, a move that will allow prosecutors to target offenders with greater ease.141 Congress should also revise the visa process to require entrants to the United States to disclose whether they are being directed by a foreign government entity to commit transnational repression.
Use existing tools to deter MPS unilateral action. The United States should use targeted sanctions against MPS agents conducting illegal activities in the United States as well as PRC officials who order operations to coerce, threaten, or kidnap civilians on American soil.142 Beyond implicated MPS officials, the United States should target decision-makers within the National Supervision Commission, which directs and oversees MPS’ unilateral operations, and leaders within the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which helps coordinate unilateral actions across multiple Chinese government agencies.143 Targeted sanctions could include denying or revoking visas for entry into the United States, freezing U.S.-based assets, and sanctioning family members. The United States should use existing tools at its disposal, such as the Global Magnitsky Act and the Khashoggi Ban, to deter Chinese Communist Party officials and MPS agents.
Support those in the United States most at risk of facing transnational repression. Given Beijing’s and the MPS’ political priorities, Uyghurs and Chinese political activists and dissidents face the most risk of transnational repression. The United States should implement policies to protect these groups, as advocated for by the Uyghur Human Rights Project, including by increasing refugee quotas, creating a refugee resettlement program for Uyghurs, and expediting the process of documentation for Uyghurs.144 The FBI and other law enforcement entities can help counter transnational repression by increasing education for and sharing unclassified intelligence with local law enforcement and immigration authorities in areas with high concentrations of vulnerable diasporas.145
Engage in Interpol and other multilateral institutions
Reform Interpol’s Red Notice system. The United States, in concert with other concerned countries, should push Interpol to operate more transparently and to counter abuse of the Red Notice system to achieve political aims, particularly by autocratic regimes.146 For example, Interpol should make public more details related to Red Notices, such as the total number of requests made by each country every year. The United States should urge that more of Interpol’s budget be allocated to increase the ability to screen Red Notices before they are implemented to ensure the notices are not politically motivated.
Elect responsible leaders for Interpol. The United States should advance candidates from the United States and like-minded democratic countries for leadership positions in multilateral institutions such as Interpol.
Track the MPS’ activities in other multilateral bodies, focusing on anti-corruption platforms. PRC government sources state that Beijing will work within existing platforms such as the U.N. Convention against Corruption, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the G-20, and Interpol to “incorporate anti-corruption international cooperation into the [PRC’s] national diplomatic strategy.”147 Given the MPS’ role in the PRC’s politically motivated anti-corruption efforts and manipulation of Interpol, the United States should study more closely the MPS’ anti-corruption engagement within international organizations to ensure that the PRC and MPS are not using these institutions for political purposes.
Build a knowledge base of MPS activity
Congress should mandate a regular report on MPS activities. Given the understudied nature of the MPS and its increasing role in the CCP’s foreign policy apparatus, the United States should devote resources to further understanding the institution. Congress should mandate that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence prepare both classified and unclassified assessments of the MPS’ domestic and overseas activities, and that the unclassified version be released publicly. Specifically, the report should detail the tactics the MPS uses to surveil, control, and repress Chinese citizens domestically; track MPS transnational repression efforts globally; determine the drivers that lead other countries to partner with the MPS; identify other international organizations the MPS leverages; and assess the MPS’ ongoing and future goals regarding critical technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and biotech.
Inform foreign governments about the MPS. The United States should brief foreign governments and policy experts on the challenges posed by the MPS and its domestic activities that abuse the rule of law, violate human rights, and undermine human security and regional stability. The United States should help other countries understand the MPS’ doctrines and missions, its role in transnational repression, and the threats MPS activities pose to their national interests. U.S. officials should encourage countries not to engage with the MPS and to instead consider alternative U.S.-led security cooperation programs that can meet the interests of foreign security forces.
Release information on past U.S.-MPS engagement. The lack of transparency around MPS activities complicates efforts to track its increased global activity or hold its partners accountable, as evidenced by the 2015 MPS-Switzerland readmission agreement. The United States should lead by example and declassify and release any formal U.S.-MPS agreements, if any exist, while calling on other countries to share any agreements they have signed with the MPS. This approach will help the global community compare experiences and discern the intent of the MPS while also identifying any potential vulnerabilities the MPS could have exploited while conducting foreign operations.
The Ministry of Public Security has become an increasingly important part of Beijing’s foreign policy toolkit. With clear orders to “grasp the new characteristics of the internationalization of public security work,”148 the MPS’ global activities threaten to undermine broadly recognized norms and standards in the areas of rule of law and security sector governance. Through its bilateral outreach, the MPS creates opportunities to normalize some of the most authoritarian and illiberal aspects of Chinese Communist Party rule, including putting down protests or tracking dissidents using artificial intelligence and big data. The MPS has used Interpol to achieve political objectives while also standing up the Lianyungang Forum to serve as a one-stop shop for multilateral security engagement such as proliferating Chinese technology companies and offering capacity building opportunities for foreign security apparatuses. MPS agents have illegally threatened and coerced individuals on foreign soil through transnational repression efforts, including unilateral rendition campaigns. Through its external engagements, the MPS helps further extend the repressive hand of the CCP.
By implementing the policies outlined in this report, the United States—together with partners and allies—can reaffirm an international consensus around security sector norms and strengthen an approach to security sector governance built around the protection of human rights and the promotion of a rules-based international order.
About the author
Jordan Link is the China policy analyst for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress.
The author would like to thank the members of the Center for American Progress’ National Security and International Policy department for their helpful guidance throughout this project. Special thanks to each external reviewer for their invaluable insights during the research process.
All Chinese-language sources are saved as PDFs on file with the author and are available upon request.
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- Suzanne E. Scoggins, Policing China (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2021), p. 7.
- Bruce Dickson, The Party and the People (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2021), p. 12.
- Center for Security and Emerging Technology, “Translation: Ministry of Public Security 2019 Budget,” September 2, 2020, available at https://cset.georgetown.edu/research/ministry-of-public-security-2019-budget/.
- Sebastian Heilmann, Lea Shih, and Moritz Rudolf, “The judiciary, police, and penal systems,” in Sebastian Heilmann, ed., China’s Political System (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), p. 139.
- Scoggins, Policing China, pp. 5, 32.
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- Emile Dirks and James Leibold, “Genomic surveillance” (Canberra, Australia: Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 2020), available at https://www.aspi.org.au/report/genomic-surveillance. The MPS’ Institute of Forensic Sciences was sanctioned by the U.S. government for its role in the “implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance” of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other minority groups in Xinjiang. For more, please see James Millward and Dahlia Peterson, “China’s System of Oppression in Xinjiang: How It Developed and How to Curb It” (Washington: Brookings Institution, 2020), available at https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/FP_20200914_china_oppression_xinjiang_millward_peterson.pdf.
- Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, “Zhao ke zhi dui gong an guo ji he zuo gong zuo ti chu yao qiu, shen ru xue xi guan che xi jin ping wai jiao si xiang, quan mian ti sheng xin shi dai gong an guo ji he zuo gong zuo neng li shui ping, wang xiao hong chu xi quan guo gong an ji guan guo ji he zuo gong zuo hui yi bing jiang hua” (Zhao Kezhi puts forward requirements for international cooperation of public security, In-depth study and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, Comprehensively enhance the level of public security international cooperation in the new era, Wang Xiaohong attended the National Public Security Agencies International Cooperation Work Conference and delivered a speech), March 2, 2019, available at https://www.mps.gov.cn/n2254314/n2254315/n2254317/n4894885/n4894887/c6417722/content.html.
- Xinhua News Network, “‘Yi dai yi lu’ an quan he zuo dui hua hui zai jing ju xing meng jian zhu hui jian dai biao tuan tuan zhang” (‘One Belt One Road’ Security Cooperation Dialogue Held in Beijing Meng Jianzhu Meets with the Head of Delegation), May 4, 2017, available at http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-05/04/c_1120919833.htm.
- Melanie Hart and Blaine Johnson, “Mapping China’s Global Governance Ambitions” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2019), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/article/mapping-chinas-global-governance-ambitions/.
- Jessica Chen Weiss, “A World Safe for Autocracy?”, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2019, available at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2019-06-11/world-safe-autocracy.
- Elizabeth C. Economy, The World According to China (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity Press, 2022), p. 171.
- Xi Jinping, “jian chi he zuo chuang xin fa zhi gong ying xie shou kai zhan quan qiu an quan zhi li” (Adhere to cooperation, innovation, rule of law, and win-win cooperation to carry out global security governance), People’s Daily, September 27, 2017, available at http://cpc.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0927/c64094-29561212.html. (Full quote: “坚持改革创新，实现共同治理… 现行全球安全治理体系有很多不适应的地方，应该加以改革完善，推动全球安全治理体系朝着更加公平、更加合理、更加有效的方向发展”)
- Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, “Quan guo gong an guo ji he zuo gong zuo hui yi zai jing zhao kai” (National Public Security International Cooperation Work Conference Held in Beijing), Xinhua News Network, February 7, 2017, available at http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-02/07/c_1120426453.htm; Ford, “Extending the long arm of the law: China’s international law enforcement drive.”
- Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, “Zhao ke zhi dui gong an guo ji he zuo gong zuo ti chu yao qiu, shen ru xue xi guan che xi jin ping wai jiao si xiang, quan mian ti sheng xin shi dai gong an guo ji he zuo gong zuo neng li shui ping, wang xiao hong chu xi quan guo gong an ji guan guo ji he zuo gong zuo hui yi bing jiang hua” (Zhao Kezhi puts forward requirements for international cooperation of public security, In-depth study and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, Comprehensively enhance the level of public security international cooperation in the new era, Wang Xiaohong attended the National Public Security Agencies International Cooperation Work Conference and delivered a speech).
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- Freedom House, “China: Transnational Repression Origin Country Case Study” (Washington: 2021), available at https://freedomhouse.org/report/transnational-repression/china.
- People’s Republic of China Government, “Gong an bu bu shu ji bu xing dong jian zhi zai tao jing wai jing ji fan zui xian yi ren” (Ministry of Public Security deploys arrest operations to target fugitive overseas economic criminal suspects), July, 22, 2014, available at http://www.gov.cn/xinwen/2014-07/22/content_2722492.htm; China Discipline Inspection and Supervision News, “Lie hu 2014 zhong yang fan fu da ju de you xiao ce ying” (“Fox Hunting 2014”, an effective response to the overall anti-corruption situation of the central government), December 5, 2014, available at https://www.ccdi.gov.cn/gzdt/gjhz/201412/t20141205_153500.html. For English source, also see United States District Court Eastern District of New York, “United States of America v Zhu Feng,” Case No. 20-MJ-1025 (PK), October 27, 2020, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1331941/download.
- Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision Department, “Zhongguo qidong fanfu ‘tian wang’ xingdong jiang zhua yi pi waitao tanguan” (China launches anti-corruption ‘Sky Net’ operation to catch a number of corrupt officials fleeing the country), March 26, 2015, available at http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2015-03-26/175731649218.shtml; Safeguard Defenders, “Involuntary Returns: China’s covert operation to force ‘fugitives’ overseas back home” (Madrid: 2022), available at https://safeguarddefenders.com/sites/default/files/pdf/INvoluntary%20Returns.pdf.
- Zach Dorfman, “China Used Stolen Data to Expose CIA Operatives in Africa and Europe,” Foreign Policy, December 21, 2020, available at https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/12/21/china-stolen-us-data-exposed-cia-operatives-spy-networks/#.
- Sebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg, “Operation Fox Hunt: How China Exports Repression Using a Network of Spies Hidden in Plain Sight,” ProPublica, July 22, 2021, available at https://www.propublica.org/article/operation-fox-hunt-how-china-exports-repression-using-a-network-of-spies-hidden-in-plain-sight.
- U.S. Department of Justice, “Eight Individuals Charged With Conspiring to Act as Illegal Agents of the People’s Republic of China,” Press release, October 28, 2020, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/eight-individuals-charged-conspiring-act-illegal-agents-people-s-republic-china.
- U.S. Department of Justice, “Chinese National Charged With Acting As An Unregistered Agent Of The Chinese Government In The United States,” Press release, March 30, 2022, available at https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/chinese-national-charged-acting-unregistered-agent-chinese-government-united-states.
- Jiang Lirong, “zhua bu ‘can yu lie hu xing dong ren yuan’ mei che di dian fu he zuo ji zhi shi zai du hua zi shen” (Arresting “People Involved in The Fox Hunt” The United States is completely subverting the cooperation mechanism by poisoning itself), The Global Times, October 29, 2020, available at https://world.huanqiu.com/article/40U55Ncmkcs.
- Cao Yin, “Success of Fux Hunt campaign continues,” China Daily, November 5, 2015, available at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-11/05/content_22375920.htm; Xinhua News Network, “Gong an bu ‘lie hu xing dong’ cong jia le bi di qu cheng gong ‘lie’ hui yi zhong da jing ji fan zui tao fan” (The Ministry of Public Security’s “Fox Hunt” successfully “hunted” a major economic crime fugitive from the Caribbean), February 6, 2018, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20200809022153/http://www.xinhuanet.com/legal/2018-02/06/c_1122375840.htm; Xinhua News Network, “Hu bei ‘lie hu xing dong’ qu de zhong da zhan guo cong yue nan ya hui 15 ming fan zui xian yi ren” (Hubei’s “Fox Hunting Operation” Achieves Significant Results, Brought Back 15 Criminal Suspects from Vietnam), May 17, 2019, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20200810164029/http://www.xinhuanet.com/2019-05/17/c_1124510310.htm; Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Argentina, “San ming zai a gen ting de ‘lie hu’ xing dong tong ji tao fan bei dai hui guo nei” (Three fugitives wanted by ‘Fox Hunt’ in Argentina are brought back to China), December 9, 2014, available at https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/cear/chn/lqfw/t1217535.htm; Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the French Republic, “Wo guo shou ci cong fa guo cheng gong ‘lie hu’” (China’s First Successful “Fox Hunt” from France), September 20, 2016, available at https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/cefr/chn/zfjl/t1398914.htm; Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia, “‘Lie hu 2014’ xing dong zai ma lai xi ya qu de zhong yao zhan guo” (Operation “Fox Hunt 2014” achieved important results in Malaysia), December 31, 2014, available at https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/cemy/chn/sgxw/t1224840.htm; People.cn, “Gong an bu ‘lie hu xing dong’ cheng gong cong han guo yin du 5 ming jing ji fan zui xian yi ren hui guo” (The Ministry of Public Security’s “Operation Fox Hunt” successfully extradited 5 economic crime suspects from South Korea to China), May 4, 2018, available at http://world.people.com.cn/n1/2018/0504/c1002-29966302.html; Xinhua News Network, “He bei lie huo jin nian ‘shou hu’: pian qu ju kuan qian tao yue nan zhong luo wang” (Hebei hunts this year’s “first fox”: defrauding vast sum of money and absconding in Vietnam and finally arrested), March 4, 2019, available at http://m.xinhuanet.com/2019-03/04/c_1124190511.htm.
- From 2015 to 2020, at least 8,111 individuals were arrested abroad under the auspices of Operation Sky Net—6,690 from 2015 to 2019, and 1,421 in 2020. CCTV, “2019 zhui tao zhui zang cheng ji dan gong bu qian 10 yue zhui hui 1634 ren jin e jin 30 yi” (The 2019 transcript of fleeing and recovering assets was announced, 1,634 people were recovered in the first 10 months, with an amount of nearly 3 billion), December 10, 2019, available at http://news.cctv.com/2019/12/10/ARTI5G3E2A93EB9sK5N6tE8A191210.shtml; Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and State Supervision Commission, “Yiti tuijin zhui tao fang tao zhuizang ‘tian wang 2020’ xingdong zhui hui waitao renyuan 1421 ren,” (Operation “Sky Net 2020” Recovered 1421 People Who Fled), Xinhua News Network, February 22, 2021, available at http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2021-02/22/c_1127122649.htm; Rotella and Berg, “Operation Fox Hunt: How China Exports Repression Using a Network of Spies Hidden in Plain Sight.”
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia, “‘Lie hu 2014’ xing dong zai ma lai xi ya qu de zhong yao zhan guo” (Operation “Fox Hunt 2014” achieved important results in Malaysia); Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in France, “Wo guo shouci cong faguo chenggong ‘lie hu,’” (China’s First Successful “Fox Hunt” from France); Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Argentina, “San ming zai a gen ting de ‘lie hu’ xing dong tong ji tao fan bei dai hui guo nei” (Three fugitives wanted by “Fox Hunt” in Argentina are brought back to China).
- Joanna Chiu, China Unbound: A New World Disorder (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2021), p. 72.
- Chris Buckley, “Chinese Police Seize Publisher From Train in Front of Diplomats,” The New York Times, January 22, 2018, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/22/world/asia/china-police-bookseller-train-gui-minhai.html.
- Emily Rauhala, “Hong Kong bookseller’s televised ‘confession’ was absurd and incoherent — and that’s the point,” The Washington Post, January 18, 2016, available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/01/18/hong-kong-booksellers-televised-confession-was-absurd-and-incoherent-and-thats-the-point/.
- Xinhua News Network, “Xiang gang tong luo wan shu dian lao ban gui min hai ‘shi zong’ shi jian diao cha” (Investigation into the “missing” incident of Gui Minhai, the owner of Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay bookstore), WayBack Machine, January 17, 2016, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20160117160913/https://news.xinhuanet.com/legal/2016-01/17/c_1117800737.htm.
- Human Rights Watch, “China: Release Abducted Swedish Bookseller,” Press release, October 17, 2016, available at https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/10/17/china-release-abducted-swedish-bookseller.
- Buckley, “Chinese Police Seize Publisher From Train in Front of Diplomats.”
- BBC, “Gui Minhai: Hong Kong bookseller gets 10 years jail,” February 25, 2020, available at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51624433.
- The total also includes trips made by former ministers who still hold important government positions and lower-level officials such as police liaison officers.
- Afghanistan, Belarus, Cambodia, France, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. See database entries MM.001, MM.006, MM.009, UZ.006, UZ.005, UZ.007, KP.003, KG.001, MY.003, TZ.002, LA.007, VN.006, KP.001, KP.004, VN.004, AF.002, MM.017, AF.005, MM.002, UZ.010, KH.005, RU.004, BY.001, TH.004, MM.008, VN.002, VN.005, ID.002, SA.001, TH.002, MY.001, KH.004, LA.009, UZ.009, AF.006, RS.001, AF.004, KH.003, FR.012, UA.001, and KZ.003.
- Freedom House, “Countries and Territories,” available at https://freedomhouse.org/countries/freedom-world/scores (last accessed April 2022).
- Murray Scot Tanner and James Bellacqua, “China’s Response to Terrorism” (Arlington, VA: CNA, 2016), p. 64, available at https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/Chinas%20Response%20to%20Terrorism_CNA061616.pdf.
- This is an incomplete data set, as Xinhua, a Chinese state media outlet, reported in 2017 that the MPS had signed agreements with more than 60 countries. More than half of the identified agreements were signed after President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, and more than half of them were signed with partners in Asia. The MPS has prioritized signing agreements with countries that border China; 10 of the 14 countries along China’s borders have signed formal documents with the MPS, including Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. The CAP database did not identify any agreements with Bhutan and Nepal. Xinhua News Network, “Shen hua guo ji zhi fa he zuo kai chuang gong shang gong jian gong xiang an quan he zuo xin ju mian——wo guo gong an ji guan chuang xin guo ji zhi fa he zuo cheng xiao zong shu” (Deepening international law enforcement cooperation and creating a new situation of joint consultation, joint construction and sharing of security cooperation——A summary of the achievements of China’s public security agencies innovating international law enforcement cooperation), WayBack Machine, September 25, 2017, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20191225191926/http://www.xinhuanet.com/legal/2017-09/25/c_1121722147.htm.
- Safeguard Defenders, “Lies and spies – Switzerland’s secret deal with Chinese police,” December 9, 2020, available at https://safeguarddefenders.com/en/blog/lies-and-spies-switzerland-s-secret-deal-chinese-police; International Organization for Migration, “READMISSION” (Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland), available at https://www.iom.int/sites/g/files/tmzbdl486/files/our_work/ODG/GCM/IOM-Thematic-Paper-Readmission.pdf (last accessed May 2022).
- Helen Davidson and Emma Graham-Harrison, “Details revealed of secret deal that gave Chinese spies free rein in Switzerland,” The Guardian, December 9, 2020, available at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/09/secret-deal-reveals-chinese-spies-free-rein-switzerland.
- NZZ am Sonntag/Keystone-SDA/dos, “Swiss explore renewal of ‘secret deal’ with China,” swissinfo.ch, August 23, 2020, available at https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/swiss-explore-renewal-of–secret-deal–with-china/45985878.
- Davidson and Graham-Harrison, “Details revealed of secret deal that gave Chinese spies free rein in Switzerland.”
- Swiss State Secretariat for Migration and Ministry of Public Security, “Arrangement between the State Secretariat for Migration of the Federal Department of Justice and Police of the Swiss Confederation and the Exit and Entry Administration of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China on the identification of alleged Chinese citizens with irregular stay in Switzerland” (2015), available at https://safeguarddefenders.com/sites/default/files/2015.12.08_Vereinbarung%20Identifikation%20von%20mutmasslich%20chinesischen%20S”aats’ngeh%C3%B6rigen_angl.pdf; Safeguard Defenders, “Lies and spies – Switzerland’s secret deal with Chinese police.”
- Davidson and Graham-Harrison, “Details revealed of secret deal that gave Chinese spies free rein in Switzerland.”
- Damien Cave, “China and Solomon Islands Draft Secret Security Pact, Raising Alarm in the Pacific,” The New York Times, March 24, 2022, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/24/world/asia/china-solomon-islands-security-pact.html.
- State Information Service, “Egypt, China sign technical cooperation document in specialized security fields,” June 20, 2017, available at https://www.sis.gov.eg/Story/114496?lang=en-us.
- Shohret Hoshur, Elise Anderson, and Joshua Lipes, “‘The Price of My Studies Abroad Was Very High’: Uyghur Former Al Azhar University,” Radio Free Asia, June 26, 2020, available at https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/student-06262020141646.html.
- U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, “U.S. Relations with Egypt,” April 29, 2022, available at https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-egypt/#:~:text=U.S.%20assistance%20to%20Egypt%20has,%2430%20billion%20in%20economic%20assistance.
- CPC News, “Xi jin ping: jian chi he zuo chuang xin fa zhi gong ying xie shou kai zhan quan qiu an quan zhi li” (Xi Jinping: Persist in cooperation, innovation, rule of law, and win-win, and join hands in global security governance), September 27, 2017, available at http://cpc.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0927/c64094-29561212.html.
- Wu Chunyang, “Xie shou gong ying jia qiang guo ji jing wu he zuo” (Working together for a win-win situation and strengthening international police cooperation), China Police Daily, August 14, 2021, available at http://epaper.cpd.com.cn/szb/wwwcpd_9/dzb_16465/rmga/2021/2021_08_14/16466_2021_08_14_26772/#986071.
- Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, “Xie guo xiang can zan yu mian dian nei zheng bu 20 ming fu hua pei xun jing guan zuo tan” (Counselor Xie Guoxiang had a discussion with 20 police officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Myanmar who went to China for training), June 30, 2016, available at http://mm.mofcom.gov.cn/article/ztdy/201606/20160601350355.shtml; Criminal Investigation Police University of China, “2018 nian ba na ma jing wu yu an quan he zuo yan xiu ban kai ban dian li zai wo yuan ju xing” (The opening ceremony of the 2018 Panama Police and Security Cooperation Seminar was held in the Criminal Investigation Police University of China), November 15, 2018, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2697/3424.htm; China News, “Ba bu ya xin ji nei ya yao ren jing wei pei xun ban zai si chuan jing cha xue yuan kai ban” (Papua New Guinea VIP security training class started in Sichuan Police College), May 9, 2018, available at https://www.chinanews.com.cn/gn/2018/05-09/8509786.shtml.
- Criminal Investigation Police University of China, “Xue yuan ju ban 2018 nian a gen ting zhong gao ji jing guan yan xiu ban kai ban dian li” (The University held the opening ceremony of the 2018 Argentine middle- and senior-level police officer training class), June 28, 2018, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2707/2776.htm; Criminal Investigation Police University of China, “2019 nian tu ni si jing wu yu an quan he zuo yan xiu ban zai wo yuan kai ban” (The 2019 Tunisian Police and Security Cooperation Seminar opened in the Criminal Investigation Police University of China), September 12, 2019, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2707/4656.htm.
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Fiji, “Yang zhao hui can zan hui jian fei ji jing cha dai zong jian bing wei di si pi fu hua pei xun de fei ji jing guan song xing” (Counselor Yang Zhaohui met with the Acting Commissioner of Fiji Police and saw off the fourth batch of Fiji police officers who went to China for training), November 4, 2014, available at https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/cefj//chn/sgxw/t1207253.htm; Chinese Peacekeeping Police Training Center, “Zhongxin jiaoshi yuanman wancheng waiguo jingcha zai libiliya peixun renwu” (Center faculty successfully completed training of foreign police officers in Liberia), December 1, 2020, available at http://arkcorner.com/pages/international-cooperation/foreign-visit/110.html.
- China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization International Judicial Exchange and Cooperation Training Base, “2019 Nian wuzibieke sitan luyou jingcha yanxiu ban jieye dianli zai jilin daxue juxing” (The graduation ceremony of the 2019 Uzbekistan Tourist Police Training Course was held at Jilin University), December 8, 2019, available at http://cnisco.shupl.edu.cn/2020/0922/c17a1434/pagem.htm; Railway Police College, “Hasake sitan ‘yidai yilu’ (wuliu anquan) peixun ban zai tiedao jingcha xueyuan juban xilie baodao” (Kazakhstan “One Belt, One Road” (logistics security) training course held in the Railway Police Academy series of reports), November 8, 2017, available at http://www.rpc.edu.cn/info/1028/2419.htm.
- Seulkee Jang, “North Korea’s Ministry of Social Security receives training from China’s Ministry of Public Security,” Daily NK, August 4, 2021, available at https://www.dailynk.com/english/north-korea-ministry-social-security-receives-training-china-ministry-public-security/.
- Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, “Shi gong an ju ying yao can jia 2016 ‘jing cha gong gong guan xi jiao yu pei xun yan tao hui’ bing zuo jiao liu fa yan” (The Municipal Public Security Bureau was invited to participate in the 2016 “Police Public Relations Education and Training Seminar” and made an exchange speech), August 24, 2016, available at https://www.hnfyhb.com/html/czzf/2016/BJMQQHIL_0824/6243.html.
- Since 2017, the MPS has offered at least 15 training sessions related to cyber issues to foreign police in 12 different countries: Argentina, Armenia, Cambodia, Djibouti, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Panama, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan. See CAP database.
- Yu Xiaochen, “Xue yuan ju xing 2017 nian su dan gao ji zhi fa guan yuan pei xun ban jie ye dian li” (The university held the graduation ceremony of the 2017 Sudanese senior law enforcement officer training course), Criminal Investigation Police University of China, October 26, 2017, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2707/1635.htm; Liaoning Police College, “‘2018 nian fei lu bin da ji kua jing wang luo du bo fan zui yan xiu ban’ zai wo yuan ju ban” (“2018 Philippine Seminar on Combating Cross-border Online Gambling Crime” was held in our institute), available at http://www.lnpc.cn/Info/1/10931.html (last accessed July 2022); Pang Ping, “2018 nian ji bu ti wang luo fan zui yan xiu ban kai ban dian li zai wo yuan ju xing” (The opening ceremony of the 2018 Djibouti Cybercrime Seminar was held in the Criminal Investigation Police University of China), Criminal Investigation Police University of China, September 10, 2018, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2707/2982.htm; Zheng Dongmei, “2019 nian ma lai xi ya fan kong pei xun ban zai wo yuan kai ban” (The 2019 Malaysia Counter-Terrorism Training Course was held at our Institution), International Exchange Office of the Criminal Investigation Police University of China, June 27, 2019, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2707/4399.htm; Shi Hang, “2019 nian ta ji ke si tan nei wu bu jing cha xue yuan zhi fa neng li jian she pei xun ban yuan man jie shu” (The 2019 training course on law enforcement capacity building of the Police Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan was successfully concluded), International Exchange Office of the Criminal Investigation Police University of China, October 28, 2019, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2707/4805.htm.
- Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Belarus, Argentina, Djibouti, Tunisia, Armenia, Brazil, Fiji, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan. See CAP database.
- Asterius Banzi, “Tanzania seeks Chinese help in social media,” The East African, August 1, 2017, available at https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/news/east-africa/tanzania-seeks-chinese-help-in-social-media–1370738.
- Economy, The World According to China, p. 114.
- Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala, “Tanzania orders all unregistered bloggers to take down their sites,” Reuters, June 11, 2018, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tanzania-internet/tanzania-orders-all-unregistered-bloggers-to-take-down-their-sites-idUSKBN1J71W6.
- Shi Hang, “Xue yuan ju xing wu zi bie ke si tan jin du zhi fa pei xun ban jie ye dian li” (The Academy held the graduation ceremony of the Uzbek Anti-Drug Law Enforcement Training Course), International Exchange Office of the Criminal Investigation Police University of China, September 21, 2018, available at http://www.cipuc.edu.cn/info/2707/3119.htm.
- Frederic Lemieux, “The nature and structure of international police cooperation: an introduction,” in Frederic Lemieux, ed., International Police Cooperation: Emerging Issues, Theory and Practice (Portland, OR: Willan Publishing, 2013).
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United Republic of Tanzania, “gong an bu zheng zhi bu cai an ji zhu ren fang wen tan sang ni ya” (Director Cai Anji of the Political Department of the Ministry of Public Security visited Tanzania), December 1, 2008, available at http://tz.china-embassy.org/chn/ztgx/t524364.htm; Li Xiaoyu, “gong an bu zheng zhi bu cai an ji zhu ren fang wen tan sang ni ya” (The Chinese Ministry of Public Security assisted in the construction of the office building of the Kulyab Anti-Narcotics Sub-Administration in Tajikistan was completed and handed over), March 19, 2016, available at http://www.xinhuanet.com/world/2016-03/19/c_128814017.htm; Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Argentina, “zhong guo gong an bu gong zuo zu ying yao fu a gen ting kai zhan lian he jing wu zhi fa he zuo” (The working group of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China was invited to Argentina to carry out joint police law enforcement cooperation), November 10, 2018, available at http://ar.chineseembassy.org/chn/lqfw/t1611941.htm.
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, “Zhong guo zhu meng jia la guo da shi chai xi xiang meng zhuan jiao wo yuan meng jing yong zhuang bei” (Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Chai Xi handed over to Bangladesh the police equipment used by China to aid Bangladesh), March 23, 2006, available at http://bd.china-embassy.org/chn/xwdt/t242004.htm.
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, “Zhong guo zheng fu yuan ba DNA shi yan shi ju xing luo cheng yi shi” (Chinese government aided Pakistan DNA laboratory held inauguration ceremony), March 31, 2006, available at http://pk.china-embassy.org/chn/zbgx/t243844.htm.
- China News Service, “Zhongguo gong’an bu xiang agenting lianbang jingcha zongju, juanzeng xingshi anjian DNA zhencha shebei” (The Ministry of Public Security of China donated DNA investigation equipment for criminal cases to the General Administration of the Federal Police of Argentina), November 13, 2018, available at http://www.newsduan.com/newsyun/HuaMeiJingXuan/MeiZhou/agthrw/20181113/96245.html.
- Sui-Lee Wee, “China Is Collecting DNA From Tens of Millions of Men and Boys, Using U.S. Equipment,” The New York Times, June 17, 2020, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/world/asia/China-DNA-surveillance.html; Dirks and Leibold, “Genomic surveillance.”
- Asia-Plus, “Китай строит базу в Таджикистане стоимостью около 100 млн сомони” (China is building a base in Tajikistan worth about 100 million somoni), October 28, 2021, available at https://asiaplustj.info/ru/news/tajikistan/security/20211028/kitai-stroit-bazu-v-tadzhikistane-stoimostyu-okolo-100-mln-somoni.
- China Youth Daily, “2019 nian fu yi jing wu lian he xun luo jing dui song xing yi shi ju xing” (In 2019, the send-off ceremony of the Joint Police Patrol Force to Italy was held), November 5, 2019, available at http://zqb.cyol.com/html/2019-11/05/nw.D110000zgqnb_20191105_5-05.htm.
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Serbia, “zhu sai er wei ya da shi chen bo chu xi shou ci zhong sai jing wu lian he xun luo qi dong yi shi” (Ambassador To Serbia Chen Bo attended the launching ceremony of the first Sino-Cypriot police joint patrol), September 19, 2019, available at http://rs.chineseembassy.org/chn/sgxx/sghd/t1699107.htm; Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Italy, “guan yu gong bu zhong yi di si ci jing wu lian he xun luo zhong wen bao jing re xian de tong zhi” (Notice on the announcement of the fourth police joint patrol Chinese alarm hotline), November 6, 2019, available at https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/ceit//chn/lsyw/t1713690.htm; Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Croatia, “xu er wen da shi hui jian gong an bu jing wu lian xun dai biao tuan ji zhong fang lian xun jing yuan” (Ambassador Xu Erwen met with the Joint Patrol Delegation of the Ministry of Public Security and the Chinese Joint Patrol Officers), July 13, 2019, available at https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/cehr//chn/sgxx/t1680827.htm.
- Prashanth Parameswaran, “China’s Mekong Security Role in the Headlines with New Joint Patrols,” The Diplomat, March 31, 2020, available at https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/chinas-mekong-security-role-in-the-headlines-with-new-joint-patrols/.
- Government of the People’s Republic of China, “Di 114 ci zhong lao mian tai mei gong he lian he xun luo zhi fa qi dong” (The 114th Mekong River joint patrol by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand begins), February 22, 2022, available at http://www.gov.cn/xinwen/2022-02/22/content_5675047.htm.
- Parameswaran, “China’s Mekong Security Role in the Headlines with New Joint Patrols”; Xinhua News Network, “Di 91 ci zhong lao mian tai meigonghe lianhe xunluo zhifa yuanman jieshu” (The 91st China-Lao-Myanmar-Thailand Mekong River Joint Patrol Law Enforcement Successfully Concluded), March 28, 2020, available at http://www.xinhuanet.com/world/2020-03/28/c_1125781900.htm.
- Xinhua News Network, “Xin ya ou da lu qiao an quan zou lang guo ji zhi fa he zuo lun tan yuan man bi mu” (International Law Enforcement Cooperation Forum on Secure Corridor of the New Eurasian Land Bridge successfully concluded), September 24, 2015, available at http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2015-09/24/c_128264118.htm.
- Jiangsu People’s Publishing House, “Lian yun gang nian jian” (Lianyungang Yearbook), (Nangjing, China: 2016), p. 110, available at http://www.lygsz.gov.cn/lygszw/uploads_transfer/soft/170708/2016.pdf.
- China Daily, “Di wu jie ‘lian yun gang lun tan’ cheng gong ju xing” (The fifth “Lianyungang Forum” was successfully held), December 11, 2020, available at https://cn.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202012/11/WS5fd2e125a3101e7ce9734ac4.html.
- Shi Weiping, “kai mu ! 30 guo zhi fa bu men qi ju zhong guo lian yun gang!”, (Opening! Law enforcement agencies from 30 countries gather in Lianyungang, China), December 10, 2020, available at https://m.thepaper.cn/baijiahao_10343719.
- Qiazhan, “2018 di si jie ‘lian yun gang lun tan’ jing yong zhuang bei he gong gong an quan chan pin bo lan hui” (2018 The fourth “Lianyungang Forum” police equipment and public safety products expo), available at https://www.qiazhan.com/zhanhui/8469.html (last accessed May 2022).
- Qianjia, “Di san jie ‘lian yun gang lun tan’ jing yong zhuang bei he gong gong an quan chan pin bo lan hui” (The 3rd “Lianyungang Forum” Police Equipment and Public Safety Products Expo), November 29, 2017, available at http://www.qianjia.com/html/2017-11/29_280335.html.
- Qiazhan, “2018 di si jie ‘lian yun gang lun tan’ jing yong zhuang bei he gong gong an quan chan pin bo lan hui” (2018 The fourth “Lianyungang Forum” police equipment and public safety products expo); Sohu, “Lian yun gang lun tan hai wai an bao fen lun tan qu de yuan man cheng gong” (The Lianyungang Forum Overseas Security Sub-forum was a complete success), September 17, 2018, available at https://www.sohu.com/a/254261518_100008029; JS News, “Di si jie lian yun gang jing yong zhuang bei he gong gong an quan chan pin bo lan hui kai mu” (The 4th Lianyungang Police Equipment and Public Safety Products Expo opened), September 12, 2018, available at http://jsnews.jschina.com.cn/lyg/a/201809/t20180912_1908070.shtml.
- Sohu, “Lian yun gang lun tan hai wai an bao fen lun tan qu de yuan man cheng gong” (The Lianyungang Forum Overseas Security Sub-forum was a complete success).
- The Treasury Department’s Non-Specially Designated Nationals Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List is a designation that prohibits U.S. investments in certain companies due to their association with China’s military-industrial complex, such as China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, Huawei, and Hikvision. Executive Order 13959, signed into effect by President Joe Biden in June 2021, seeks to address the threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China by prohibiting U.S. investments in companies associated with China’s military-industrial complex. For more information, see The White House, “FACT SHEET: Executive Order Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Certain Companies of the People’s Republic of China,” Press release, June 3, 2021, available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/03/fact-sheet-executive-order-addressing-the-threat-from-securities-investments-that-finance-certain-companies-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china/.
- Xinhua News Network, “Kua guo you qi guan dao guo ji an bao he zuo hui yi can jia ge fang jiang jian feng xian ping gu yu jing ji zhi” (Participants in the International Security Cooperation Conference on Transnational Oil and Gas Pipelines will build a risk assessment and early warning mechanism), December 12, 2017, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20211016121959/http://www.xinhuanet.com/2017-12/12/c_1122100623.htm.
- Xinhua News Network, “Gong an bu: jia qiang guo ji zhi fa an quan he zuo gong tong ti sheng zhi fa neng li” (Ministry of Public Security: Strengthen International Law Enforcement Security Cooperation and Jointly Improve Law Enforcement Capabilities), September 13, 2018, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20220124025902/http://www.xinhuanet.com/legal/2018-09/13/c_1123426667.htm.
- Tan Xiaoping and Zhang Chi, “Wu guo wai jing xiang ju gang cheng ‘lian yun gang lun tan’ zai pu xin pian” (Police officers from five countries gather in Lianyungang city, “Lianyungang Forum” writes a new chapter), New Silk Road Horizon, June 27, 2017, available at https://www.fx361.com/page/2017/0627/1991505.shtml.
- Li Xiaohua, “Lianyungang Forum promotes int’l law enforcement cooperation,” China.org.cn, September 13, 2018, available at http://www.china.org.cn/world/2018-09/13/content_63405502.htm.
- National Security and Anti-Terrorism Information, “Kai zhan zhi fa he zuo hu wei guo ji an quan” (Carry out law enforcement cooperation to safeguard international security), available at https://cati.nwupl.edu.cn/dtzx/gaxx/17639.htm (last accessed May 2022).
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- Interpol, “National Central Bureaus (NCBs),” available at https://www.interpol.int/en/Who-we-are/Member-countries/National-Central-Bureaus-NCBs (last accessed April 2022).
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- Interpol, “CHINA,” available at https://www.interpol.int/en/Who-we-are/Member-countries/Asia-South-Pacific/CHINA (last accessed April 2022).
- Currently, there are about 66,370 active Red Notices issued, with details of only 7,669 publicly available. From 1984 to 2015, China issued more than 400 Red Notices through the organization. In 2016 alone, China issued more than 600 Red Notices. See ibid.; People’s Daily Online, “Pan dian: hong se tong ji ling zai quan qiu zhua huo duo shao fan zui fen zi ?” (Inventory: How many criminals are caught by red notices worldwide?), April 23, 2015, available at http://world.people.com.cn/n/2015/0423/c1002-26891018.html; Xinhua News Network, “Wo guo mei nian tong guo guo ji xing jing zu zhi qu dao xiang hu xie cha an jian yue 3000 qi” (Each year, China conducts mutual investigations of about 3,000 cases through INTERPOL channels), WayBack Machine, September 26, 2017, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20171013054032/http://news.xinhuanet.com/2017-09/26/c_1121725796.htm; Safeguard Defenders, “No Room to Run: China’s expanded mis(use) of INTERPOL since the rise of Xi Jinping” (Madrid: 2021), available at https://safeguarddefenders.com/sites/default/files/pdf/No%20Room%20to%20Run.pdf.
- Interpol, “Constitution of the ICPO-INTERPOL” (Lyon, France: 2021), available at https://www.interpol.int/en/content/download/590/file/01%20E%20CONSTITUTION%2011%202021.pdf.
- Nomaan Merchant, “Lawyers say China using Interpol to seek dissident’s return,” AP News, July 30, 2021, available at https://apnews.com/article/china-immigration-migration-6463bf3d26c5a4ed3b799e83116edc45.
- Dolkun Isa, “Before the Tiananmen Massacre, Uyghurs Led Their Own Protest,” The Diplomat, June 16, 2020, available at https://thediplomat.com/2020/06/before-the-tiananmen-massacre-uyghurs-led-their-own-protest/.
- Joyce Huang, “Uighur Arrest in Italy Sparks Fears of Chinese Interference in Europe,” VOA, August 3, 2017, available at https://www.voanews.com/a/italy-detention-of-exiled-uighur-activist-a-wake-up-call-as-china-flexes-muscles-rights-activists-say/3970690.html.
- Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, “East Turkestan: Dolkun Isa Detained in South Korea,” September 16, 2009, available at https://www.unpo.org/content/view/10070/81/.
- Michael McCaul, “The United States Can’t Cede the U.N. to China,” Foreign Policy, September 24, 2019, available at https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/09/24/the-united-states-cant-cede-the-u-n-to-china/; Anne Applebaum, “How China Outsmarted the Trump Administration,” The Atlantic, November 2020, available at https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/trump-who-withdrawal-china/616475/.
- Human Rights Watch, “Letter from HRW To Interpol Secretary General Stock,” September 24, 2017, available at https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/24/letter-hrw-interpol-secretary-general-stock.
- World Uyghur Congress, “Press Release: After 20 Years WUC President Dolkun Isa Has Interpol Red Notice Removed,” February 25, 2018, available at https://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/after-20-years-wuc-president-dolkun-isa-has-interpol-red-notice-removed/.
- Fang Bing, “Guoji xingjing zuzhi quxiao dui yi wei zhongguo yiyi renshi di tongji” (Interpol lifted the arrest of a Chinese dissident), VOA, June 9, 2022, available at https://www.voachinese.com/a/interpol-red-notice-chinese-dissident-wang-zaigang-20191004/5111170.html.
- Human Rights Watch, “Letter from HRW To Interpol Secretary General Stock.”
- Fang Bing, “Zai mei can jia yi yi huo dong hou cheng wei hong tong fan de wang zai gang huo bi hu” (Wang Zaigang, who became a Red Notice fugitive wanted after participating in dissident activities in the United States, was granted asylum), VOA, February 16, 2017, available at https://www.voachinese.com/a/fugitive-asylum-20170215/3726754.html.
- Human Rights Watch, “Letter from HRW To Interpol Secretary General Stock.”
- Wee, “China Is Collecting DNA From Tens of Millions of Men and Boys, Using U.S. Equipment”; Dirks and Leibold, “Genomic surveillance.”
- Economy, The World According to China, p. 190.
- Jordan Link, Nina Palmer, and Laura Edwards, “Beijing’s Strategy for Asserting Its ‘Party Rule by Law’ Abroad” (Washington: United States Institute for Peace, 2022), available at https://www.usip.org/publications/2022/09/beijings-strategy-asserting-its-party-rule-law-abroad.
- Murray Scot Tanner and James Bellacqua, “China’s Response to Terrorism” (Arlington, VA: CNA, 2016), p. 1, available at https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/Chinas%20Response%20to%20Terrorism_CNA061616.pdf.
- Xinhua News Agency, “Zhonghua renmin gongheguo fan kongbu zhuyi fa” (Counterterrorism Law of the People’s Republic of China), December 27, 2015, available at http://www.xinhuanet.com//politics/2015-12/27/c_128571798.htm.
- Malin Oud, “Rule of Law,” Decoding China, available at https://decodingchina.eu/rule-of-law/ (last accessed June 2022).
- Sun Xinyang, “Quan mian cong yan zhi dang wei dang he guo jia shi ye fa zhan ti gong jian qiang bao zheng” (Strictly governing the party in an all-round way provides a strong guarantee for the development of the party and the country), China Discipline Inspection and Supervision News, October 11, 2017, available at http://www.jxdi.gov.cn/tttt/201710/t20171011_86137.htm.
- Ford, “Extending the long arm of the law: China’s international law enforcement drive.”
- Freedom House, “Policy Recommendations: Transnational Repression.”
- Safeguard Defenders, “Involuntary Returns: China’s covert operation to force ‘fugitives’ overseas back home”; Oliver Young, “Chinese Government Has Coerced 10,000 “Fugitives” Back to China,” China Digital Times, January 2022, available at https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2022/01/chinese-government-has-coerced-10000-fugitives-back-to-china/.
- Natalie Hall and Bradley Jardine, “‘Your Family Will Suffer’: How China is Hacking, Surveilling, and Intimidating Uyghurs in Liberal Democracies” (Washington: Uyghur Human Rights Project and The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, 2021), available at https://uhrp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/UHRP-Your-Family-Will-Suffer-Report.pdf.
- Nate Schenkkan, “Global Purge: Understanding and Responding to Transnational Repression: Testimony Before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe” (Washington: Freedom House, 2019), available at https://www.csce.gov/sites/helsinkicommission.house.gov/files/SCHENKKAN%20Nate%20-%20Testimony.pdf.
- Edward Lemon, “Weaponizing Interpol,” Journal of Democracy 30 (2) (2019): 15–29, available at https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/weaponizing-interpol/.
- Sun, “Quan mian cong yan zhi dang wei dang he guo jia shi ye fa zhan ti gong jian qiang bao zheng” (Strictly governing the party in an all-round way provides a strong guarantee for the development of the party and the country).
- Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, “Quan guo gong an guo ji he zuo gong zuo hui yi zai jing zhao kai” (National Public Security International Cooperation Work Conference Held in Beijing); Ford, “Extending the long arm of the law: China’s international law enforcement drive.”
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Former Policy Analyst, China
National Security and International Policy
Advancing progressive national security policies that are grounded in respect for democratic values: accountability, rule of law, and human rights.