China Enlists the Nation to Vigilantly Detect Foreign Spies, Promises Generous Monetary Incentives

China has escalated its counterespionage campaign, encouraging its populace to remain watchful and report any potential foreign operatives or Western espionage networks, as reported by Fox News.

This move follows the recent enactment of China’s updated counterespionage legislation, which has been operational for just a few months.

Gordon Chang, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” shared his perspective on this development.

“China’s officials say they want to promote tourism and boost the economy, but [Chinese President] Xi Jinping is security-obsessed, as dictators often are.” Chang said.

“To force his Maoist-like vision on China, Xi Jinping is cutting links with the world and promoting xenophobia. The report-foreign-spies campaign is very much in line with the mood of 1950s China.”

According to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the recently enacted law has expanded the definition of espionage.

Rather than exclusively encompassing state secrets and intelligence, the term “espionage” now encompasses any documents, data, materials, or items related to national security interests, lacking specific definitions, as per the Center’s assessment.

This extension also widens the reach of counterespionage regulations within the People’s Republic of China.

Chinese authorities have initiated a WeChat platform specifically designed for reporting national security concerns, as reported.

This channel continually emphasizes to its users that valuable tips could result in a reward of $13,700. In a recent case, an individual with the surname “Zeng” was apprehended in August on suspicion of supplying information to the CIA, according to the report.

Official statements indicate that Zeng had established a collaborative association with a U.S. official, engaging in the exchange of sensitive information in return for financial remuneration.

China’s primary intelligence and security agency, the Ministry of State Security, has called upon its citizens to actively safeguard the nation against espionage activities. They’ve introduced a WeChat account featuring a “reporting” button and articles instructing citizens on how to notify authorities regarding potential national security threats.

One of these articles accuses Washington of amplifying the “China threat” narrative, as per Fox’s report.

Under the slogan “It is everyone’s responsibility to maintain national security,” the Ministry of State Security has launched a campaign, which has gained significant traction online. The hashtag “Discovered espionage, dial 12339” on Weibo has garnered over 310 million views. The agency has also released posters with a focus on identifying “foreign spies.”

This counterespionage initiative isn’t limited to adults. Reports from Chinese state media indicate that “multiple regions across the country have strengthened education on counterespionage law through various means, including regular national security theory education.”

China’s commitment to national security goes beyond espionage and includes efforts to combat “foreign influence” within its territory.

A recent illustration of this is the cancellation of the first TED Talks since the COVID pandemic began, citing concerns about its connections to a foreign entity.

“China is not safe for any foreigner,” claimed Chang. “Among foreigners, only Japanese people are more at risk than Americans at the moment. Communist Party propaganda organs are now targeting these two countries, relentlessly and maliciously.”

“Chinese people are now fleeing China, so that’s a hint to others,” Chang added. “Everyone should flee while they still can.”