Many Chinese embassies and consulates use unofficial networks to influence and enforce overseas; prompting democratic governments to investigate the practice.
**The Chinese Communist Party’s “Consular Volunteers” Network**
A recent report revealed that the Chinese Communist Party has established a global network of “consular volunteers” through its embassies and consulates. This network forms part of the Party’s “United Front” influence and law enforcement operations overseas. Despite the formalization of these networks, they have been largely undeclared to host countries, posing a threat to personal privacy and control over overseas communities as an extension of the Party’s activities.
**Flying Under the Radar**
The network is used to monitor and harass dissidents, and draws individuals and businesses in other countries into consular work. Certain overseas organizations and individuals are commended for their contributions to consular protection, and the official reports are under the supervision of those with ties to the United Front. The network spans countries worldwide, and democratic nations are urged to review the practice and avoid participating in United Front-linked events to curb these transnational activities.