China Allegedly Engaged in Espionage Activities – Justice Department Presses Criminal Charges from NYC

The Justice Department on Monday announced three cases involving China’s threat to national security, based on operations in New York City.

Just two miles from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York’s office, the People’s Republic of China opened an undeclared station for the Chinese National Police, officials said.

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The station provided some government services, such as allowing Chinese residents to renew their driver’s licenses, but it also was used for more sinister activities.

“The Chinese National Police appear to have been using this station to track a U.S. resident on U.S. soil,” Eastern District of New York Attorney Breon Peace said.

“We are the first law enforcement partners in the world to make arrests in connection with the Chinese government’s overseas police stations,” he said. 

Two defendants, Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping, were arrested Monday morning, Peace said.

The second complaint charges 34 Chinese police officers who belong to a “special project working group” task force that “commits crimes, targeting Chinese democracy activists and dissidents located outside of the PRC, including right here in New York City,” Peace also said. “This task force operates as an internet troll farm, creating thousands of fake online personas which they use in a coordinated plot to harass, disparage and threaten dissidents and activists throughout the world.” They also spread disinformation online, such as claiming the U.S. was responsible for spreading the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

“Today’s charges send a crystal clear response to the PRC that we are on to you. We know what you’re doing and we will stop it from happening in the United States of America,” Peace also said.

Peace recused himself from the third criminal complaint filed by his office. Prosecutors alleged in that case that Beijing participated in efforts to globalize the authoritarian tactics used in China to silence dissent.

In the third complaint, a China-based employee of a U.S. technology company “removed content critical of the PRC, fabricated evidence of the terms of service violations in order to end virtual meetings critical of the PRC and suspended and canceled user accounts that were critical of the PRC,” said David Newman, a top-ranking attorney at the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The announcement comes after the Justice Department filed charges in October against 13 suspected Chinese government agents.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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