The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stated that China and Iran are carrying out a number of higher-profile actions against dissidents from their countries who are inside the United States.
This week, the agency said it was tracking the number of cases in which Beijing and Tehran have targeted dissidents, resulting in American criminal cases. The FBI said that this included “new tactics” and “lines that are being crossed.”
One FBI counterintelligence official told Reuters that the law enforcement agency has “really seen an inflection point in the tactics and tools, and the level of risk and the level of threat” over the last several years.
This week, the Department of Justice announced the arrest of two residents for hosting an “illegal overseas police station” in Manhattan.
American officials said that the two men were “conspiring to act as agents” of Beijing and allegedly obstructed justice. The Chinatown police station was closed in 2022.
We’re going to have to look into why we would have ever allowed for Communist #China to operate a police station in OUR country, to spy, harass, and intimidate American citizens! pic.twitter.com/gNIZ5wOANk
— Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez (@RepCarlos) April 18, 2023
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen stated that China “established a secret physical presence in New York City to monitor and intimidate dissidents and those critical of its government.”
The Manhattan station is one of a number that Beijing is allegedly using across the United States and the globe to spy on its dissidents overseas.
This week, the United Kingdom warned Beijing over the use of such stations on its soil. London said that it was aware of about 100 such stations across the globe.
The news also coincides with a number of prominent Chinese military maneuvers off the coast of Taiwan. Beijing used its new aircraft carrier and several other naval vessels to simulate military action against its island neighbor.
The escalation came after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), an outspoken Taiwan supporter in Congress, told Fox News that Beijing sanctioned him. McCaul and other members of Congress were in Taiwan during the Chinese military maneuvers.
The Texas Republican called the actions “bravado” and “aggression.”
“We have every right to meet with President Tsai,” he said.
McCaul said that the Biden administration’s approach was weak and invited such actions. The representative likened the recent China-Taiwan standoff to President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.