As reported by Breitbart News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on his way to attend peace talks with the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar that “if the Taliban follow through on their word, the United States is committed to removing all American forces from Afghanistan once and for all.”
The United States welcomes the announcement that Afghanistan peace negotiations will begin September 12. This is an historic moment and Afghanistan’s best chance at ending forty years of war and bloodshed.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 10, 2020
“Our commitment to reducing our forces to zero is conditioned on them executing their obligations under the agreement,” Pompeo said. “We’ve been very clear about their responsibilities with respect to the terrorist activity taking place in Afghanistan that is plotting external operations. It’s very clear that the violence levels have to come down to acceptable levels. We saw just yesterday or the day before there are a lot of spoilers out there. There are people who don’t want this to go forward. They want America mired in this place. They don’t want peace in Afghanistan. Most of the Afghanistan people want that. We’re going to stay focused on it. That’s where our focus—the president said, and I think General McKenzie said yesterday, that by late fall we’ll be down to roughly 4,500 U.S. soldiers. It’ll still be a significant number. I’m mindful too that it’s not just Americans who are there. There’s an enormous number of international forces who have sacrificed as well in this fight for the last 19 plus years. We want everyone to have the chance to reduce the risk and reduce the forces as well, so our movement to the appropriate levels is consistent with the two goals the president laid out when I became Secretary of State. Two goals—one, reduce our forces there. Get as close to zero as quickly as you can get to that number, and we’re intent on doing it. Second, we can’t sacrifice security for the homeland. I believe those objectives are both achievable between what we’ve done and what the Department of Defense has done over the last couple of years. We’ve made real progress on both objectives.”
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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