GOP congressman warns of Chinese 'police stations' in US: 'How have we allowed this to happen?'
House China Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher hosted a press event Saturday at a former illegal Chinese Communist Party police station in downtown Manhattan.
"This innocent-looking building that you see behind me has an unauthorized secret police station linked to the Chinese Communist Party," said Gallagher. "The nonprofit Safeguard Defenders discovered over 100 of these illegal police stations around the world, including at least two more on United States soil."
Gallagher was joined by Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., and Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla. in an effort to shine a light on the threat the CCP poses to the United States and the need for the Biden administration to act "aggressively" to defend U.S. sovereignty.
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Last year, the pan-Asian human rights organization Safeguard Defenders published an investigation called "Patrol and Persuade" that said another 48 Chinese police service stations were operating abroad in addition to the 54 the group had identified in September.
"It's rare to find someone who hasn't experienced at least some low-level form of digital harassment from CCP agents," Gallagher said at the Saturday press conference. "How have we allowed this to happen on American soil? The answer, in my opinion, is that we have been blind while the CCP has been very cunning."
He continued, "They buy our politicians, multinational organizations, companies and in some cases, law enforcement. They use muscle and threats instead of persuasion. And like the Mafia, they aren't afraid to make people disappear."
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Reported locations of these illegal police stations span 53 countries, including four U.S.-based stations — two in New York City, one in Los Angeles and one set up by the Nantong Public Security Bureau in an undisclosed location.
Gallagher was joined by Chinese activist Zhuo Fengsuo, who was a student leader hunted by the CCP after participating in the protests that sparked the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
"This is the first time that the Chinese basic community feel that their grievance is heard by American public," Zhuo said after taking the podium.
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Zhuo was forced into exile after being named one of the CCP's most wanted criminals for his participation in the student protests in 1989. He was arrested multiple times, beaten, and tortured by government officials.
"We want justice," Zhuo said. "We cannot allow this to happen in America. We cannot allow this to happen. It is the land of the free and the brave. We are here because we believe in freedom. And we will fight for freedom."
Torres also spoke on the issue, saying, "Even though Chair Gallagher and I come from opposing political parties, the unity we are projecting sends a powerful message that the defense of human rights from the abuses of the CCP ... is not a Democratic value or a Republican value. It's an American value."
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"We are here because we're Americans who believe in the rule of law and human rights and freedom for every single person, including the Chinese dissidents here in the United States," Torres added.
Gallagher announced that the House China Select Committee will be holding a hearing, titled "The Chinese Communist Party Threat to America," next week to take proactive measures against CCP actions in the U.S.
The committee hopes it will be a bipartisan collaboration.
"Nobody agrees on 100 percent of everything. I don't even agree with my own family on 100 percent of everything," Gallagher said. "But we want to identify what the bipartisan center of gravity is."
He concluded, "We believe — and [House Speaker Kevin McCarthy] believes — that where possible, if Congress can speak with one voice when it comes to standing up against and pushing back against Chinese Communist Party aggression, America is stronger, the world is stronger, the free world is stronger."