The Chinese Communist Party is funding the operation of a “service station” on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that functions as a spy facility to keep tabs on dissidents. The station is owned and operated by a non-profit on the IRS “blacklist,” America Changle Association NY Inc.
The non-profit lost its tax-exempt status in May when it was removed by the IRS for failing to submit tax filings for three consecutive years. It was incorporated in New York in 2013 and in order to qualify as a tax-exempt charity listed its mission as being a “social gathering place for Fujianese people.”
“The Manhattan station is part of a web of more than 100 such law enforcement offices set up around the world by the People’s Republic of China, ostensibly to help Chinese nationals renew their government-issued identification and drivers’ licenses.” https://t.co/lPZknniN3W
— 𝙰𝚕𝚎𝚡 𝙱𝚕𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕 (@alexrblackwell) October 9, 2022
Public records indicate that the non-profit paid $1.3 million in 2016 for office space that houses the Fuzhou Police Overseas Chinese Affairs agency.
The New York Post reported that the “service station” being operated in Lower Manhattan is just one of more than 100 such police stations established globally by the Chinese government. The stated purpose for setting up the offices is to assist Chinese citizens to renew their state documents, including official identification and driver’s licenses.
A report issued last month by Safeguard Defenders, a human-rights watchdog organization based in Spain, indicates the Chinese stations are actually used as hubs for spying on Chinese nationals around the world. The report says that the “overseas police service stations” are used for “resolutely cracking down on all kinds of illegal and criminal activities involving overseas Chinese.”
Additionally, the stations like the one in New York City are involved in “intimidation, harassment, detention or imprisonment” of dissenters according to the report. It states that the stations scattered around the globe have been instrumental in forcibly returning more than 200,000 Chinese nationals to China for engaging in activities objectionable to the Chinese Communist Party.
Several Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C., responded with outrage when the existence of the Chinese station was publicized on Friday. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) told Fox News, “The Department of Justice and State Department must explain why the Biden administration has allowed CCP police to set up an office on US soil.”
Safeguard Defenders spokesperson Laura Harth said that the Manhattan spying office “shows how brazen the CCP is getting and how little regard they have for other governments.”
The last filing the New York non-profit operating the station made with the IRS was in 2018. At that time it claimed it had received under $136,000 in donations and said its assets were worth $1.1 million.