Tue, Apr 17, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Web site urges Chinese to report ‘security threats’

AFP, BEIJING

China has stepped up its campaign against foreign espionage with a Web site in Mandarin and English encouraging people to report national security threats such as bids to “overthrow the socialist system.”

The Web site, www.12339.gov.cn, launched on Sunday by the Chinese 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 behavior also includes foreigners meeting “any person within China who has conducted activities endangering state security or is strongly suspected of doing so” — raising concerns that any interaction with dissidents would be frowned upon.

Informants are to be rewarded for discovering espionage equipment or for tip-offs on anyone suspected of buying or selling state secrets, according to the Web site.

The Beijing City National Security Bureau was offering 10,000 to 500,000 yuan (US$1,500 to US$73,000) for information on spies, the official Beijing Daily reported in April last year.

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

The cartoon tells the story of a foreigner from an international non-governmental organization, who is promoting “Western-style” workers’ rights in China. The foreigner allegedly “bribes” a Chinese representative to organize seminars and mobilize 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.

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