Listen to Today's Edition
China has allegedly set up at least two “police stations” in the Netherlands, which the government uses to monitor and pressure Chinese dissidents abroad, Politico reported Wednesday.
According to Dutch media, the so-called “overseas service stations” have been operating in the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam since 2018. These offices offer diplomatic services for Chinese-Dutch citizens – such as renewing driving licenses – but they are also used to silence dissidents in the Netherlands, according to one victim, Wang Jingyu.
Wang told journalists that he fled to the Netherlands after Chinese authorities targeted him for criticizing the government on social media. He added that the Rotterdam “police station” had urged him to return to China, where there is an outstanding warrant for his arrest, the Washington Times noted.
He said that someone from the office told him to “think about my parents.”
Following the report, Dutch authorities said the offices were “illegal” and that the government will investigate the matter.
The Chinese embassy countered that it was not aware of the existence of such stations. But Dutch outlets cited Chinese media coverage of a high-level embassy official who was involved in discussions about the Amsterdam station’s opening.
The recent reports come a month after the Spain-based watchdog group, Safeguard Defenders, reported that China has established “a series of overseas police ‘service stations’ across five continents but mainly in Europe.”
The organization’s report said there is a station in New York City and three others in Canada.