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Opinion
Hal Brands

China’s Hunt for Dissidents Has Gone Global

Operations Fox Hunt and Skynet target Beijing’s critics wherever they may go.

Keeping an eye out.

Keeping an eye out.

Photographer: Roy Liu/Bloomberg 

For years, China has purported to be a new type of great power: one that rises peacefully and respects the rights of other states rather than chasing the foreign domination of empires past. “China will never seek hegemony, expansion or a sphere of influence,” President Xi Jinping said in April.

Yet many of Beijing’s policies have a distinctly imperial feel. A case in point is a wide-ranging effort to give Chinese law enforcement global reach, and thereby hound the regime’s enemies wherever they may go.