This will not ease tensions between Washington and Beijing.

A New York police officer of Tibetan origin was charged Monday with spying for the benefit of the Chinese government.

The American authorities accuse him of having gathered information on the Tibetan community in New York.

Parents of the Chinese Communist Party

A police officer reporting to a Queens police station, the man was piloted by members of the Chinese Consulate in New York, according to the indictment released on Monday.

Through his contacts with the Tibetan community, this 33-year-old man is said to have gathered, between 2018 and 2020, information on the activities of this community and identified potential sources of information.

Born in China, he was granted political asylum in the United States, claiming to have been tortured by Chinese authorities because of his Tibetan origins.

However, the investigation showed that both of her parents were members of the Chinese Communist Party.

Also according to the indictment, the one who is also a reserve officer in the US military would also have allowed members of the consulate to be invited to events organized by the New York police.

The Chinese authorities have reportedly paid him several tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for his services.

Four counts

In total, four charges were brought against the police officer, in particular the engagement in the service of a foreign country on the American territory, false declarations and obstruction of the functioning of a public service.

He was brought before a judge on Monday and taken into custody, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn federal prosecutor said.

He is currently suspended without pay, according to a New York Police spokesperson.

"If it were confirmed by a court", the case "would show that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in slanderous operations to counter any opposition, not only in Tibet (...) but everywhere in the world", reacted the International Campaign for Tibet, association for the defense of Tibetan rights.

After allowing Tibet to operate autonomously between 1912 and 1950, Beijing regained control of the territory in 1951. The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has lived in exile since 1959.


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20 Minutes with AFP