Chinese police stations in Italy serve to monitor citizens

Italian and Chinese joint patrol in June 2019

ROME - Chinese police have been allegedly watching over Chinese citizens in every major Italian city. The Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Piantedosi, said  “There is no authorization from the Department of Public Security regarding the activity of the centres in question … I do not exclude sanctions in the event that illegalities are found.”

 There are almost a dozen Chinese police stations between Rome, MIlan,Venice, Bolzano, Florence, Prato, Naples and Sicily, that have allegedly been found acting beyond the administrative and bilateral security agreement that took place from 2016 to 2019, between Italy and China.

 Matteo Piantedosi, Italian Home secretary, said in response on Wednesday at the Chamber that “There is no authorization from the Department of Public Security regarding the activity of the centers in question. I assure you that the police forces, together with intelligence, will implement monitoring with the utmost attention, I will follow it personally and I will not rule out sanctions in the event that illegal activity is found.”

 The case was initially reported by Safeguards defenders the watchdog which monitors disappearances in China, who also published a report stating “These operations … violate the international rule of law … using illegal methods” and also  “Official statements detail the use of depriving suspects’ children the right to education back in China, as well as other actions against relatives and family members, in a full-on “guilt by association.”

 Last November an officer of the Chinese embassy denied, to the Department of Public Security, that China is maneging undeclared police forces outside its territory, stating instead that the police offices are administrative hubs, set up to help Chinese expatriates carry out certain procedures, such as the renewal of driving licenses.