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16 Apr 2024

New Report: Chasing Fox Hunt

Ten years ago, China launched one of its most notorious campaigns to date: Operation Fox Hunt (2014). Soon followed by overarching Operation Sky Net (2015), the global extension of Xi Jinping’s signature “anti-corruption” campaign set the pace for a rapidly expanding web of relentless – and often illegal - long-arm policing operations around the globe.

Many of those operations bank on the extensive use of extrajudicial mechanisms to forcefully return individuals to China for persecution.

Chasing Fox Hunt takes readers behind the scenes of those operations on the basis of an official written legal interpretation by lead Party-agency Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Click here to download the report (PDF).

That definition explicitly defines the range of illicit means in violation of the sovereignty of third nations and the fundamental human rights of the targeted individuals. Notably, the official playbook includes kidnapping. It provides a staggering snapshot of just one of the means in the People’s Republic of China’s brazen and unapologetic transnational repression efforts around the globe. 

Topped by the method of persuade to return - a combination of pressure techniques employed on family members and loved ones in China, including collective punishment, as well as direct stalking, harassment and threats delivered to the target abroad by PRC agents or their proxies -, the report contains 283 individual accounts of extrajudicial returns from at least 56 countries and 2 territories (Hong Kong and Macao), mainly under Sky Net.

Sourced from PRC propaganda, the stories of those individuals form the backbone of this report: from clandestine police visits abroad, to honey traps and location-revealing malware. Little detail is spared to describe the mechanics of these illicit operations.

We hope they may provide further public insight into the methodology that underpins the PRC’s long-arm policing efforts.

There are important lessons to be learned from these insights, as the exact same methods are constantly being discerned in overseas efforts against regime critics and political and religious minorities.

A vital part of the PRC’s long-arm policing efforts rest on the cooperation many authorities around the world continue to afford the Chinese authorities. While some have woken up to the dire reality of the CCP’s global fugitive hunt, others tacitly close an eye to or willingly assist in their unlawful operations under a recent swathe of - often secretive - police cooperation agreements.

Incredibly worrisome in that regard is the support provided by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to the lead Chinese Communist Party-agency that authored the written legal interpretation around which this report is centered.

UNODC has repeatedly refused to release the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with the National Commission of Supervision of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in October 2019. This report publishes the integral document and lays out the case against UNODC’s cooperation on the basis of the mandatory UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy enacted by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.


This report will soon be made available in simplified Chinese and Spanish.