Latest release of national security comic exposes foreign espionage threat in critical mineral sector
Published: Feb 04, 2024 09:50 AM
China's Ministry of National Security published latest issue of its serialized comic on national security on February 4, 2024. Photo: Ministry of National Security

China's Ministry of National Security published latest issue of its serialized comic on national security on February 4, 2024. Photo: Ministry of National Security

In the second installment of its serialized comic, titled The Secret Special Investigation Division, China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) depicted how security police officers discovered professional espionage equipment in a residential compound near the Xishan Mining Area and unveiled the "black hands" behind the scenes. This serves as a warning regarding foreign espionage targeting crucial mineral resources.

The comic is set in the Xishan Mining Area in Jiangzhou, which is a pseudo city, where a group of suspicious individuals is shown conducting exploration and mapping activities while seemingly extracting ore samples in a secretive manner.

In the second issue of the storyline, local security police officers received complaints from a resident of the residential compound near the mining area. Most of the residents in this compound are high-level executives and engineers from the mining area, and they reported that the network signal in the community has been particularly poor recently.

Not only does it frequently experience disconnections, but sometimes even phone calls suffer from interference, as one resident surnamed Zhang informed local security police officers. Zhang even visited the community's equipment room, where eerie green lights were emanating.

Subsequently, two national security personnel disguised themselves as employees from Jiangzhou Telecom and inspected the equipment room, while another staff member disguised as a community resident went to the property management office to file complaints about network issues and requested a meeting with the property owner.

Based on the clues provided by the community resident, national security personnel conducted a technical inspection of the community's network communication equipment and discovered signal interception and data collection devices, all of which are professional espionage equipment.

During their conversation with the property management, it was discovered that the property owner is a man surnamed Ma, who is involved in real estate development in the Xishan mining area. After further investigation, it was found that he often participates in social gatherings, and his social connections are quite intricate, including several pictures with foreign individuals.

National security personnel came across a photo in which a foreigner with blonde hair was identified as Jason, who is also known as "big fish" among national security personnel.

According to available information, Ma, whose full name is Ma Xiaolei, pursued a master's degree in economics from abroad and returned to China to engage in foreign trade business in the Xishan Economic Development Zone.

The comic aims to illustrate that safeguarding the security of key mineral resources is an integral part of national security and that infiltration, bribery, and espionage activities are involved in the global competition for rare earth minerals.

With the escalation of China-US trade friction and increasing global geopolitical tensions, the competition for rare earths has risen to the level of national security.

Global Times