Prompting an investigation into the recently disclosed presence of seven Chinese Communist Party (CCP) facilities, known as Overseas Chinese Service Centers (OCSC), on U.S. soil, Republican Senators have urged the Department of Justice and the FBI to probe these entities for potential illicit activities. These OCSCs, believed to be the machinations of the CCP’s United Front, a department notorious for advancing Beijing’s global ambitions, have raised alarming concerns within the GOP.
The crux of the Republican Senators’ apprehension, voiced through two distinct letters issued on July 10, involves the questionable association of these service centers with the CCP’s primary law enforcement agency, the Ministry of Public Security. This concern stems from a documented 2018 assembly that involved U.S. OCSC staff and Chinese police officials, wherein the American participants received instruction about “cross-border remote justice services.”
Led by Senator Ted Budd from North Carolina, a group of senators brought their concerns before Attorney General Merrick Garland, stressing the questionable operations of the OCSCs under the intelligence service of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in coordination with the PRC’s national police force. Additionally, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and seven other Republican senators drafted a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Assistant Attorney General for National Security Division Matthew Olsen, calling for an immediate investigation into these service centers.
The Republican senators have stated that the CCP’s clear intentions with these OCSCs are to monitor and intimidate Chinese Americans who express dissenting opinions. As reported by the Utah branch, the CCP has established more than 60 such centers globally as of September 2017, with seven currently operating in U.S. cities, including Charlotte, North Carolina; San Francisco, California; Houston, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; St. Paul, Minnesota; Salt Lake City, Utah; and St. Louis, Missouri.
Uncovering these CCP-affiliated agencies operating within the U.S. closely follows charges against two New Yorkers accused of covertly using a CCP police station in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Additionally, Blackburn and other senators expressed concern about a recent incident where a Chinese spy balloon was shot down by the U.S. Air Force, emphasizing the urgency of understanding and mitigating the CCP’s persistent threats to U.S. national security.
The Senators urged the FBI and the Department of Justice to provide detailed answers regarding these OCSCs, including their potential for coercing and surveilling Chinese Americans.
The OCSCs form a crucial component of the eight initiatives inaugurated by the CCP’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO) in 2014. These programs aim to offer services to overseas Chinese and “realize the China Dream,” as per the official OCAO website. The senators pointed out that this “China Dream,” a slogan strongly associated with the CCP’s top leader Xi Jinping, signifies the party’s aspiration to establish China as a superpower by 2049.
The senators also noted a significant shift in 2018 when the control of the OCAO transferred to the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the CCP, an organization described as Beijing’s intelligence service. They highlighted the UFWD’s role in domestically and internationally influencing activities, leading efforts to control ethnic Chinese groups living outside China.
Finally, the Senators requested additional information from the Justice Department regarding the UFWD-linked centers and their potential engagement in illegal U.S. soil activities. They stressed the urgency of ensuring that the CCP is not running intelligence or repression operations within the United States, highlighting the need for proactive measures to counter the CCP’s potential infiltration.