“110 Overseas: Transnational Policing Gone Wild,” a report released by Safeguard Defenders last September, identified a transnational policing scheme run by the Chinese Communist Party that persuaded overseas Chinese “fugitives” to “voluntarily” return to China to face prosecution using threats and intimidation tactics.
The stations, also now known as the “110 Overseas” (海外110报警服务站), were identified as tools used to carry out an intimidation campaign.
Three at the time were identified in Toronto, Canada. Since then, according to committee testimony by RCMP Assistant Commissioner Mark Flynn, that number could be as many as eight. Two new stations recently identified in Quebec are under RCMP investigation: Service a la Famille Chinoise du Grand Montreal and Centre Sino-Quebec de la Rive-Sud.
Although not much is known about the activities carried out by these police stations, some operate as immigration centres, others, as hometown community associations. The director of the two alleged Montreal-area stations, Xixi Li, a Brossard city councillor, denied any wrongdoing, claiming that there is “no connection” between her organizations to the Chinese Communist Party.
A 2017 article from China News Network contradicts her denials.
According to the report, Xixi Li attended a Changsha, China ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding on “Overseas Chinese Support Centres” with Qiu Yuanping, director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO) of the State Council. OACO was restructured in 2018 and now falls under the umbrella of the United Front Work Department (中共中央统一战线工作部). Xixi Li is described as the overseas representative in Montreal.
The article reads that the overseas station initiative was introduced by the State Council in 2014 and details how clients can scan a QR code using QiaoBao (a Chinese application) to have their information linked to central data centres.
Another article contains a speech by Xixi Li wherein she notes that the work of the “Overseas Chinese Support Centre cannot be achieved without the guidance of the OCAO and Consulate General in Montreal, and the support of the three Canadian organizations,” which also translates into “three levels of government.” A ceremony inaugurating the centre was held during Premier Li Keqiang’s historic visit to Canada in 2016, with a delegation from the OCAO visiting the centre to “give guidance in person” led by Director Qiu Yanping.
Chinese-state delegates in Canada do not typically travel alone throughout the country, or without the knowledge of the federal government.
This points to a direct connection to the Chinese Communist Party, and raises serious privacy and ethical concerns, suggesting cooperation between the centres and government.
Both centres received Canadian government funding and promotion by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who recently falsely claimed the centres were closed by the RCMP (they were not).
A post by Mendicino in 2021 said that he had “a very productive meeting” with the centre (the Centre Sino-Quebec) which is now at the centre of an RCMP investigation.
Further investigation of the organization’s social media also shows that the centre hosted meetings with several Liberal Members of Parliament – most notably with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself.
There are hundreds of official immigration centres in Canada not affiliated with the CCP, making the "productive meetings" with senior Liberals at this particular centre unnecessary and suspicious.
While the criminal investigation continues, Liberal politicians continue to avoid scrutiny on the stations, despite evidence amassing the Liberals know more about the stations than they are letting on.
In the meantime, the RCMP has created a new phone line and urged any Chinese Canadians who have been victimized by a suspected overseas police station to come forward and call 514-939-8301.