China

Justice Department Charges Eight Alleged Chinese Agents in Plot to Target Dissidents

By Rohini Kurup
Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 2:14 PM

The Justice Department announced on Oct. 28 that it has charged eight individuals with conspiring to carry out a plot as agents of the Chinese government to try to force Chinese dissidents and fugitives living in the United States to return to China to face trial. The suspects are accused of hiring American private investigators to locate Chinese nationals in the United States. According to the complaint, the suspects then surveilled, threatened and intimidated the individuals and their family members to pressure them to return to China.

U.S. intelligence officials say the defendants were working at the direction of the Chinese government as part of an operation, known as Operation Fox Hunt, which Beijing describes as a campaign to bring home for trial “corrupt” officials who have fled the country. In a press conference announcing the charges, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers disputed the Chinese government’s characterization of the targets of Operation Fox Hunt, saying that in many cases the targeted individuals are political rivals and critics of the Chinese Communist Party. Demers added that the operation is a “clear violation of the rule of law and international norms.”

Five of the individuals charged were arrested in California, New Jersey and New York. The other three remain at large and are believed to be in China.

You can read the complaint here and below:

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