China launches web­site to re­port for­eign spies, those buy­ing or sell­ing state se­crets

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE -

BEI­JING: China has stepped up its cam­paign against for­eign es­pi­onage with a web­site in Man­darin and English en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to re­port na­tional se­cu­rity threats such as bids to “over­throw the so­cial­ist sys­tem”. The web­site, www.12339.gov.cn, launched by the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity , also urges any­one to re­port at­tempts by Chi­nese na­tion­als or for­eign­ers to bribe state or mil­i­tary of­fi­cials, in­sti­gate armed ri­ots or in­cite eth­nic sep­a­ratism.

Po­ten­tial prob­lem­atic be­hav­iour also in­cludes for­eign­ers meet­ing “any per­son within China who has con- ducted ac­tiv­i­ties en­dan­ger­ing state se­cu­rity or is strongly sus­pected of do­ing so”.

In­for­mants will be re­warded for dis­cov­er­ing es­pi­onage equip­ment or for tip-offs on any­one sus­pected of buy­ing or sell­ing state se­crets, ac­cord­ing to the web­site, which al­lows users to lodge com­plaints in both Chi­nese and English.

The web­site did not of­fer de­tails on the re­wards. The Bei­jing City Na­tional Se­cu­rity Bureau was of­fer­ing 10,000 to 500,000 yuan ($1,500 to $73,000) for in­for­ma­tion on spies, the of­fi­cial ‘Bei­jing Daily’ re­ported last April.

The min­istry has also re­leased a car­toon, en­ti­tled A Friend With a Mask, to il­lus­trate pos­si­ble ques­tion­able be­hav­iour, as part of its cam­paign to mark China’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ed­u­ca­tion Day on April 15.

The car­toon tells the story of a for­eigner from an in­ter­na­tional non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion (NGO), who “bribes” a Chi­nese rep­re­sen­ta­tive to or­gan­ise sem­i­nars and mo­bilise work­ers to protest for their rights. Ac­cord­ing to the car­toon, such pub­lic protests are il­le­gal and a vig­i­lant worker re­ports the for­eigner be­hind “the un­rest.”

In 2016 an­other se­ries of car­toons pub­lished by the min­istry warned Chi­nese na­tion­als against en­ter­ing into ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships with for­eign­ers, since this could be a pos­si­ble means of elic­it­ing state se­crets.

Com­mu­nist China takes an ex­tremely strict ap­proach to its na­tional se­cu­rity and state me­dia have pre­vi­ously re­ported on web users in the coun­try be­ing “lured” by for­eign spies when look­ing for jobs and friends on­line.

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