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