China will pay residents up to $15,000 in cash for reporting threats to “national security,” according to official media, in the latest effort by Beijing to instill dread of external opponents.
As per the instructions, citizens who will provide information that leads to the discovery of “acts harming national security” might be paid up to 100,000 yuan.
It will be based on their participation in preventing or solving a case. According to the reports, they will also be getting “rewards in spirit,” such as certificates.
Monetary Prizes for information
The Chinese government has paid monetary prizes for information on security breaches for years.
But the Ministry of State Security released a new guideline this week which aims to standardize the practice, according to the state-owned Legal Daily.
The legislation is “conducive to completely mobilizing the enthusiasm of the general public to support and help in national security activities, extensively rallying the hearts, morale, and strength of the people,” a ministry spokesperson told Legal Daily.
Moreover, Beijing has aggressively pushed the population to remain watchful about alleged national security infractions, including instructing youngsters to look out for potential dangers to the country.
CCTV produced a series of infographics in April warning readers to be on the lookout for spies in their midst, explaining the “eight faces of espionage”. It also includes people acting as romantic partners and plant lovers.
China uses national security as an excuse for detaining foreigners
China frequently claims national security as an excuse to imprison foreign people during periods of a diplomatic crisis with the detainees’ home nations.
Cheng Lei, an Australian journalist, was imprisoned in 2020 on suspicion of national security offenses and might face life in jail if found guilty of significant violations.
In the months leading up to Cheng’s abduction, Australian police investigated the residences of Chinese official media journalists as part of a foreign interference investigation.
The timing of her incarceration and the lack of clarity regarding the allegations against her fueled conjecture that the case was politically driven or retaliatory in nature.
Months after Cheng went missing, China officials arrested Bloomberg News staffer Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen, on suspicion of damaging national security.
Another China-born Australian, Yang Jun, has been charged with treason by Beijing and is undergoing a closed-door trial that began last year.
After large and often deadly pro-democracy riots shook the city last year, Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous government implemented a national security law in 2020 to suppress dissent.
Chinese officials jailed Bloomberg News employee Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen, with charges of damaging national security months after Cheng vanished.