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Beijing Offers Rewards for Reporting Spies

On 10 April, the Beijing State Security Bureau released a set of Measures on Rewards for Citizens Reporting Leads on Espionage Conduct. These regulations promised informants who reported on spies rewards ranging between 10,000 and 500,000 yuan, depending on the relevance and usefulness of the information provided. The new regulations were accompanied by the online publication of a cartoon in which a young boy donning the red scarf of a Communist Young Pioneer reports a bearded foreigner wearing a bandit’s mask. This was not the first sign of an increasing concern with matters of national security among the Chinese leadership. Back in 2013, President Xi Jinping established a new, secretive National Security Commission of the Communist Party of China in an apparently successful attempt to consolidate the political leadership of all the components of the country’s fragmented security apparatus. In November 2014, the Chinese government passed a Counterespionage Law, followed a few months later by a National Security Law. In November 2015, Jilin province was the first to introduce a hotline for residents to report possible spies. Since the passing of the National Security Law, the Chinese government has declared 15 April ‘National Security Education Day’, i.e. a day for raising public awareness of national security issues. That these concerns remain paramount to the Chinese leadership was also highlighted by the unusually brief round of discussions that preceded the adoption of the new National Intelligence Law—which regulates the activities of state security bodies—on 27 June. IF

(Sources: China Law Translate 1; China Law Translate 2; Reuters; The New York Times 1; The New York Times 2; The Paper)

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