An investigation has found that more than 800 Americans have fled Afghanistan in the previous year since the horribly botched U.S. military withdrawal. The number is significantly more than the Biden administration had primarily claimed, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports on the investigation:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Aug. 30 2021, just as the last U.S. aircraft departed the Kabul airport, that the State Department had identified roughly 100 Americans living in Afghanistan who wished to leave. However, a GOP House Foreign Affairs Committee report to be released Monday shows that out of an unknown number of civilians left stranded in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, the U.S. helped hundreds leave, Politico reported, suggesting the Biden administration either underestimated those who would attempt to evacuate or deliberately obscured the actual numbers.
A State Department spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday that the U.S. government had “directly supported” the evacuation of 803 U.S. citizens since August of 2021, adding that “individuals in Afghanistan periodically identified themselves as U.S. citizens wanting to depart the country.”
“Whether they had travel documents or whether they could get to Kabul, that was part of that factor,” a committee aide told Politico, referring to the Americans left behind to face increasing danger of directed Taliban violence
Speaking to CBS News on Sunday, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said the State Department had not complied with the House committee’s investigation. While the White House communicated with the committee about ongoing evacuation efforts, the State Department and the Pentagon have resisted information requests, Politico reported.
“The problem was the White House and State Department put their head in the sand, not wanting to believe what they [the Intelligence Community and the Pentagon] were saying, and therefore not adequately planning,” said McCaul.
In February, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee GOP published a report claiming the U.S. had evacuated 479 Americans out of a total of between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans who were living in Afghanistan as of Aug. 17, 2021.
At least 363 U.S. citizens were communicating with the State Department in October, 176 of whom were attempting to secure a flight out of Afghanistan, CNN reported. Between Aug. 1 and when CNN reported, more than 200 Americans had already been evacuated.
“We did extensive contingency planning throughout the spring and summer of 2021 and pre-positioned troops in the region, which enabled us to facilitate the evacuation of more than 120,000 people,” including those Americans who wished to leave, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a memo Monday.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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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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