Washington, D.C. — A new report from the Center for American Progress shows how the Chinese Communist Party is using its national police service and domestic security force, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), in ways that threaten U.S. national security interests. These efforts to influence security sector governance are undermining respect for the rule of law and human rights.
Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the MPS has significantly expanded its overseas activities, using security cooperation as a tool to expand its influence in dozens of countries. These actions undermine respect for the rule of law and human rights. MPS tactics include:
- Sending operatives to foreign countries to kidnap and threaten political dissidents, human rights activists, journalists, ethnic and religious minorities, and former officials accused of corruption
- Entering into agreements with other nations to provide security assistance
- Creating new international institutions and acting within established bodies such as Interpol
“Beijing has been clear about its intent to assert greater influence over global security norms and the MPS’ role in achieving this vision,” said Jordan Link, a policy analyst at CAP and author of the report. “The United States must work with partners and allies to counter this effort and reaffirm an international consensus around a security approach that protects human rights and promotes a rules-based international order.”
The MPS is driven by Beijing’s discontent with the current international liberal democratic order while also seeking to secure the CCP’s overseas security interests. Among the findings in the report are the following:
- MPS has concluded at least 51 formal agreements with 31 different foreign governments.
- CAP identified 77 MPS training sessions for foreign public security forces, including security services from 10 different countries on topics related to stability maintenance or “wéiwěn,” a euphemism for controlling protests, riots, and other forms of dissent.
- The MPS provided material assistance to 22 different countries on 39 different occasions.
CAP’s report contains several recommendations urging the United States to respond to these tactics to counter and deter the worst of the MPS’ activities in the United States and abroad:
- Work with allies and partners to drive a rule-of-law vision for security sector governance cooperation.
- Counter transnational repression occurring in the United States by crafting new legislation to deter such activities.
- Elevate U.S. engagement in Interpol and other multilateral institutions to shape the environment in which the MPS acts.
- Build a knowledge base of MPS activity through increased monitoring of and reporting on the MPS, sharing that information with other governments.
Read the report: “The Expanding International Reach of China’s Police” by Jordan Link
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