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Austria vows to investigate secret Chinese police stations

The Austrian government said it would examine the police stations China has reportedly set up in the country as such activities are prohibited and cannot be tolerated

By: EBR - Posted: Monday, November 7, 2022

While some of these unofficial police stations supposedly provide services like extending driver’s licenses, it is feared these may be used to investigate and threaten dissidents abroad.
While some of these unofficial police stations supposedly provide services like extending driver’s licenses, it is feared these may be used to investigate and threaten dissidents abroad.

by Nikolaus J. Kurmayer

The Austrian government said it would examine the police stations China has reportedly set up in the country as such activities are prohibited and cannot be tolerated.

Vienna has a rich history of being a spy hub, attractive for foreign security service activities. While the city is famous for its Cold War spy exchanges, recent reports of Chinese police stations have prompted concern.

“There is absolutely no question that we will not tolerate prohibited activities by foreign intelligence services or police authorities under any circumstances,” an Interior Ministry spokesperson told APA.

The spokesperson also said the authorities are currently “examining the tips” they had received regarding the illegal police stations.

According to reports by Spiegel, Vienna is host to one of multiple unofficial Chinese government police stations in Europe.

“Austria’s attractiveness as an operational area for foreign intelligence services remains high,” an Interior Ministry noted.

But, “we cannot and will not accept the fact that diaspora communities also come into focus and thus influence is exerted in Austria or sometimes even conflicts are brought to Austria,” they added.

While some of these unofficial police stations supposedly provide services like extending driver’s licenses, it is feared these may be used to investigate and threaten dissidents abroad.

The ministry did not share the number of illegal police stations that are estimated to exist in Austria or how the authorities proceed in such cases. Besides, it did not explain how Chinese dissidents are protected from persecution.

*first published in: Euractiv.com

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