Nearly 10,000 overseas nationals forced to return to China: Report

Beijing: Beijing has forced nearly 10,000 Chinese overseas nationals to return since 2014 using coercive means outside the justice system, according to a new report.

The figure could be the “tip of the iceberg”, Spain-based rights group Safeguard Defenders reported, as China aggressively pursues its nationals overseas.

The report alleges China is expanding its policing powers overseas and conducting illegal operations on foreign soil.

Officially, the targets are people wanted by the Chinese judicial system as part of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive.

But the NGO details cases where those who criticized the Communist Party had relatives in China harassed and detained in attempts to coerce them to return.

Through two programs, Operation Fox Hunt and Operation Sky Net, targeted individuals were pressured to return to China against their will due to a combination of non-judicial methods, including kidnappings, harassment, and intimidation, according to the report.

“With the Chinese diaspora growing at an ever-faster rate as more people seek to leave China… Beijing has never been more motivated to expand the powers of its security forces overseas,” the report said.

Safeguard Defenders cited government data in its estimate that almost 10,000 Chinese nationals had been forcibly returned since 2014.

The NGO’s report alleges intimidation of suspects’ family members in China is widespread and Chinese agents are sent to threaten targets in foreign countries. (NDTV)

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