According to the British news agency Reuters, the prosecutor said the action was part of a crackdown on Beijing‘s alleged targeting of dissentients.
A 2022 disquisition by the Spain-based advocacy group Safeguard Protectors alleged that China had set up” service stations” overseas, including in New York, that immorally worked with Chinese police to track down exiles.
Those arrested, Lu Jianwang, 61, and Chen Jinping, 59, face charges of inhibition of justice and conspiring to act as agents of the Chinese government without informing US authorities. He was released on bond after an original appearance in civil court in Brooklyn.
Beijing maintains that there are centers outside China that are run by original levies and not Chinese police officers. These centres are just to help Chinese citizens renew documents and offer other services.
The U.S. Department of Justice is stepping up investigations into what it calls “international coercion,” through which Chinese and Iranian officials intimidate their political opponents in the United States.
“We cannot and will not tolerate the Chinese government’s persecution of pro-democracy activists who have taken refuge in this country,” Brion Pace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, told reporters.
Both Lu and Chen are US citizens who ran an NGO, prosecutors said.
He said that in 2022, Lu Jianwang helped open a so-called police station and was asked by the Chinese government to find an individual living in California who was believed to be a pro-democracy activist.
In 2018, Lu Jianwang tried to persuade a man believed to be a fugitive in China to return home, the prosecutor said.