According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of asylum seekers in China increased by nearly 800% between 2012 and 2021.
UNHCR statistics Last year, the number of people fleeing China reached a record high of 118,476, but in 2012 it was 15,362 worldwide. The number of asylum seekers in China in 2019 and 2020 was 104,248 and 108,071, respectively.
In 2019, the number of asylum seekers in China initially exceeded 100,000.
These people have not been devastated by the war in the last decade and have been forced to leave China, which declared in 2021 that they had achieved “moderate prosperity.” Zero COVID restrictions and strict border controls in 2020 and 2021 could not be stopped People fleeing China.
Since 2012, about 730,000 Chinese have sought asylum, and more than 170,000 have lived outside China under refugee status. June report Safeguard Defenders, a non-governmental organization based in Spain.
“In 2021, a year of Xi Jinping’s reign, China now has more asylum seekers than its predecessor, Hu Jintao’s last eight years,” Safeguard Defenders wrote in a report. ..
The United States is also the most popular destination for asylum seekers in China, with 88,722 seeking asylum seekers and Australia being the second most popular, with 15,774 asylum seekers last year.
The number of asylum seekers in China continues to grow, and “the end is uncertain,” the organization said.
Many seek asylum because there are few other options for protecting safety and welfare. However, people who go abroad may be cornered and go home.
China’s Overseas Long-armed Police: Protecting Defenders
According to a January report by Safeguard Defenders, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has touted that 10,000 Chinese citizens from more than 120 countries around the world have been successfully brought back since the start of Operation Fox Hunt in 2014.
Report (Pdf)“Involuntary Return: China’s Covert Operation to Force” Fugitives “Returning Overseas” reveals three methods the CCP is using to force people back into China.
The 69-page document details how each method is performed using data and case studies to force the return of Chinese (or Chinese-born non-Chinese) abroad. Explaining.
One case shows how the CCP threatened the target family. Born in 2001, Wang Jingyu left China for Europe in 2019. An online post in February 2021 questioned China’s official death toll after a border clash with Indian troops in 2020. They quarreled and caused trouble, “and detained the king’s parents to force him to return to China.
They also contacted the king directly by phone and pressured him to return. In April 2021, the king was arrested in Dubai while changing his plane for a flight to the United States. He was released after the story broke in the Western media and human rights NGOs. pressure In the United Arab Emirates.
Other cases include kidnapping abroad. Don Gwang-Ping is a Chinese human rights defender who had already been in prison for three years in China for “inciting the overthrow of the state government” in the early 2000s. Don managed to escape to Thailand, where he was officially recognized as a refugee by UNHCR. “While he was waiting for resettlement in Bangkok at the Immigration Center in Bangkok, Chinese police came in, handcuffed him in front of a Thai officer, and took him out,” the report said. Stated.
Don was later detained in China.
More cases of Chinese diasporas targeted and kidnapped by the CCP are disclosed in the report.
“Under Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party has deepened, expanded and strengthened persecution of all recognized sources of opposition, from underground churches, Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, Mongolians, Uighurs, academia and the media. “Hong Kong,” the report said.
The report reads that 10,000 forced returns to China are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Fastly expanding global practices pose a serious threat to national sovereignty and individual rights everywhere,” the report said. “The message of CCP is that there is no safe place. You cannot save you even if you flee abroad. There is no escape.”
“National awareness and investigation, and targeted actions to counter these operations and protect the most endangered, are the keys to maintaining order under international rules. The report acknowledged the need for action.
Wu Minzhou contributed to the article.