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The U.S. Will Prosecute the PRC's Transnational Crimes


(FILE) A six story glass facade building is believed to be the site of a foreign police outpost for China in New York.

The United States has announced charges against dozens of people for working on behalf of the People’s Republic of China to export the PRC’s repression beyond its borders.

The U.S. Will Prosecute the PRC's Transnational Crimes
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The Department of Justice has announced charges against dozens of individuals for working on behalf of the People’s Republic of China to export the PRC’s repression beyond its borders.

The first case of three announced April 17 charges two men for helping to establish a secret police station in New York City as a concrete outpost of the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security, or MPS, in order to monitor and intimidate dissidents within the United States. Both men have been arrested.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York said, “As alleged, the defendants and their co-conspirators were tasked with doing the PRC’s bidding, including helping locate a Chinese dissident living in the United States and obstructed our investigation by deleting their communications.”

In the second case, the DOJ charged 34 MPS officers with using fake social media accounts to disseminate and amplify PRC propaganda and to intimidate democracy activists and dissidents living abroad. The officers were part of a special task force that worked out of Beijing, and they remain at large.

In the third case, building on a prior complaint, federal prosecutors filed charges against 10 individuals working for the PRC, who targeted participants in virtual meetings hosted by a U.S. communications technology company. The operatives’ actions had what Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Newman described as “a chilling effect on meeting participants – some of whom had fled the PRC and knew the PRC was likely monitoring them from abroad.” In addition, the Department of Justice alleges the operatives worked with another defendant, formerly employed by the U.S. technology company, to censor speech, including by ending virtual meetings critical of the PRC and suspending user accounts of Chinese dissidents. These defendants also remain at large.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Newman emphasized that the Department’s efforts to hold to account those responsible for transnational repression are not directed against the Chinese people, the Chinese diaspora, or Americans of Chinese descent, but against “the illicit actions of the PRC government and its agents.”

“As authoritarian governments, whether the PRC, Russia, Iran, or others – become more brazen in their efforts to trample the rights and liberties that are the bedrock of our democracy,” declared Mr. Newman, “the Department of Justice will redouble its efforts to defend our democracy, our democratic institutions, and our sovereignty.”

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