Chinese police officers may soon be patrolling the streets of Hungary

March 06. 2024. – 11:50 AM


Copied to clipboard

According to an agreement reached by Hungarian Minister of Interior, Sándor Pintér and China's Minister for Public Safety in mid-February, Hungarian and Chinese police officers will soon begin patrolling together in some locations in Hungary. The German paper Welt had earlier reported that following a recent agreement, Chinese police officers will soon appear in Hungarian cities, just like they have in Serbia.

The Ministry of Interior has confirmed to Telex that

“police officers from the two countries will in the future be able to carry out patrol duties together, thus helping to improve communication between the citizens and the authorities of the two countries, and improving internal security and public order.”

The objective of the cooperation agreement is to improve security in both countries' tourist areas during peak tourist periods and generally, during events that attract large crowds, according to the ministry.

"Similar agreements are not unprecedented, as Hungarian police officers regularly assist their Croatian colleagues on the Croatian coast during the peak tourist season, and Austrian police officers have already been on joint duty with their Hungarian peers around Lake Balaton," they wrote in their response. The cities concerned, the number of police officers involved, the peak tourist periods and the specific locations will be determined by the relevant enforcement bodies, taking into account the criteria for departmental organisation.

But critics of the agreement fear, according to Euronews, that China would use the police to control its citizens living in Hungary. It is no secret that the Chinese Communist Party spies on its citizens all over the world. In 2022, the human rights organisation Safeguard Defenders revealed that China is operating an international network of illegal police stations.

Two such police service centers are already in operation in Hungary: one in Budapest's Józsefváros neighbourhood and one in Kőbánya. On paper, they are handling administrative matters, but according to the Spanish human rights organisation, the Chinese state actually uses them to keep the Chinese diaspora under its ideological control and, if necessary, to force some of its members to return home. While investigations are already underway in several countries, the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior maintains that there are no Chinese police stations in Hungary.

For more quick, accurate and impartial news from and about Hungary, subscribe to the Telex English newsletter!