The long outreach of Chinese security establishment

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) China has been establishing close relations with various countries with the aim of serving its security interests.
Whether it is the Uighur issue or tracking those whom China suspects of being involved in anti-China activities or those having indulged in financial crime, Chinese intelligence has been actively pursuing such targets across the world.
Healthy relations are exploited by the Chinese to extract mileage on the security front to serve their purpose, as per the Russian daily ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’.
The daily mentions that Chinese law enforcement officers have an operational base in Dubai which they often use for such purposes. According to the daily, the Chinese have locations in Dubai where they detain people of their interest, who are involved in one of the above mentioned crimes.
According to the daily, a private agency that carried out an investigation reported about the testimony of 26-year-old Wu Huan, who was detained for eight days, as well as two Uighurs.
The woman fled from China to the UAE, as her fiance was considered a dissident by the Chinese authorities. Chinese officials kidnapped her from her hotel and placed her in a villa that had been turned into a prison. As per the daily, the investigating agency found that the villa where Wu Huan was kept also had two Uighurs under detention.
The report further mentions that Wu Huan was interrogated and forced to sign a document stating that her boyfriend was torturing her. Ultimately, she was released and travelled to Ukraine where she applied for asylum in the Netherlands.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta further mentions that this woman’s story is a firm confirmation that China is increasingly using its international influence to detain its citizens abroad.
Wu was unable to point out exactly where she was being held. However, reporters saw or heard evidence that indirectly corroborated her statement — stamps on her passport, recording on the phone of questions posed to her by a Chinese official, SMS texts that she sent to a Chinese pastor living in Dubai who helped her to flee Dubai etc.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes Yu Jiechen, an Assistant Professor at the Sinica Academy in Taiwan, to state that China is doing everything it can to bring some citizens back to the country — both through official means, through extradition treaties, and unofficially.
In most cases, visas are cancelled or families left back at home are being pressured. This is especially the case with Uighurs who have been extradited or returned to China on suspicion of terrorist ties. From 2014 to this day, 1,327 Uighurs have been detained or returned to their homeland.
China and the UAE have deep economic and political ties with extradition treaties and agreement on judicial cooperation signed between them.
In late 2017 and early 2018, local authorities expelled at least five Uighurs to China. The UAE appears to have become a hub for Chinese intelligence gathering on Uighurs in the Middle East, as per ‘Nezavisimay Gazeta’. The paper mentions that according to Uyghur linguist Abduveli Ayup, China has also been using some Uighurs for espionage work under threat.
Interestingly, when the daily approached Pavel Troshchinsky, head of legal research at the Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with a question about what is known about Chinese prisons abroad, he responded by stating that “this is unprovable. After all, the United States is waging an information war against China”.

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