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Monday, February 26, 2024

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China Calls On Citizens To Engage In Anti-Espionage Activities

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China’s state security ministry on Tuesday asked its citizens to join a surveillance programme, wherein passages would be created for people to inform about unwanted actions and reward those who work for the state’s benefit.

The ministry further wrote in its first post on WeChat, an instant messaging platform, that there should be in place a system that makes it feel ‘normal’ for the people to engage in such programme. The Ministry of State Security is responsible for monitoring foreign intelligence and anti-spying.

As China is widening its anti-espionage claws, it has started encouraging people to spread this surveillance work after its counter-espionage law came into force in July.

Under the law, sharing information pertaining to national security and interests is prohibited. The United States is unhappy with such a law as this would, according to it, bring foreign companies working in China under the clutches of the regime.

The law also allows officials to investigate and individual’s personal data, information and electronic equipment.

In a Chinese legal magazine, Minister of State Security Chen Yixin wrote in July that China’s national security has political security as its top priority and China’s political system is at the “core” of the latter. Chen said, “The most fundamental is to safeguard the leadership and ruling position of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.”

Numerous Chinese and international citizens have been imprisoned and arrested in China in recent years on suspicion of espionage, including an executive from the Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma in March.

Since September 2020, Chinese authorities have been holding Australian journalist Cheng Lei on charges that she gave away state secrets to another nation.

China has claimed that it is threatened by spies at a time when Western countries, most notably the United States, have accused China of espionage and cyberattacks, which Beijing has denied. According to a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, the United States is the “empire of hacking.”

The state security ministry stated in its WeChat post that China would require the assistance of its citizens in erecting a defence line to protect itself from espionage.

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