July 10, 2023

Ricketts, Colleagues Demand Answers from DOJ After Reports of “Service Centers” Operating in U.S.

July 10, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) joined a group of ten Republican Senators, led by U.S. Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), to demand answers from the Department of Justice about reports of “Overseas Chinese Service Centers” (OCSCs) with ties to the Chinese Communist Party operating within the United States.

“Nonprofit cultural groups across the country being used as a front for CCP espionage would be a huge betrayal of who we are as Americans,” Ricketts said. “If these espionage centers are operating in Omaha or anywhere in the United States, they must be shut down immediately.”

According to some reports, OCSC centers have been operating for several years in Omaha, Nebraska; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Francisco, California; Houston, Texas; St. Paul, Minnesota; Salt Lake City, Utah; and St. Louis, Missouri. The centers housed within various U.S.-based nonprofits have been tied to the People’s Republic of China’s national police force, the Ministry of Public Security. In April, the Department of Justice charged two men in New York for their role opening one of these centers in Manhattan.

“…The ongoing discovery of additional OCSCs raises the question of whether DOJ’s response sufficiently addresses the threat, particularly because OCSCs have openly operated for several years and their activities have been reportedly documented in Chinese state media and social media posts,” the senators wrote in their letter. “The DOJ must ensure that our adversaries such as the CCP are not operating intelligence operations or engaging in repression on U.S. soil.”

Other co-signers of the letter include Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Cornyn (R-TX), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

Read the full letter here.