France Expels Two Chinese Spies Over Attempted Forced Repatriation

France has expelled the top official of the Chinese Ministry of State Security in Paris and his deputy. The decision, ordered by the Elysée Palace, followed their involvement in an attempted forced repatriation of Chinese dissident Ling Huazhan in March.

On March 22, French border police thwarted the repatriation at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport. The incident, involving the head of the Chinese intelligence post in France, led to an investigation revealing their plan. Ling, targeted for anti-Xi Jinping actions, continues to face pressure from Chinese intelligence.

Paris had accused them of orchestrating an attempt to forcibly repatriate a political dissident in March. Chinese officials said it was a misunderstanding and worked hard to demonstrate their good faith.

To no avail. The information was confirmed to Le Monde by the French Foreign Ministry, which explained that the process being used in this case was “by mutual agreement.”

On March 22, an unusual scene drew the attention of France’s border police, the DNPAF, at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

As the police looked on, a man was being restrained by a group of seven individuals who were leading him toward the boarding gates despite his resistance.

The intervention of the border police put an end to a plan to forcibly repatriate back to China 26-year-old Chinese dissident Ling Huazhan, described by France DGSI domestic intelligence agency as “a psychologically fragile person.”

After an investigation, it emerged that the leader of the kidnapping group was none other than the head of the MSE post in France.

Like all foreign liaison officers, he was registered as such with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and holds an official passport which guarantees him diplomatic immunity. His deputy enjoys similar protection.


Ling lived a solitary and precarious existence near the Saint Lazare train station, having fled to Europe as a refugee. He’d been targeted by China for “actions offensive to the Chinese president,” for anti-Xi Jinping graffiti and for defacing posters bearing Xi’s likeness.

He also shared articles critical of the Chinese regime on social media. His passport was withheld as a means of pressure to get him to the airport.

His identity document was allegedly stolen from a Chinese-run business near the Saint Lazare train station.

According to the DGSI, the location functioned as a ghost “police station,” used by Beijing all over the world to enforce its own laws, particularly against its opponents. There are several such posts in Paris and throughout France.

Per the DGSI, Ling has since continued to be subjected to “pressure from Chinese intelligence services.”

He has reportedly received calls from his brother and aunt, under duress by the Chinese authorities, asking him to cease his activities.


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