Experts stress significance of national security education to avoid spy traps
Published: Mar 13, 2024 08:48 PM
Spy Photo: VCG

Spy Photo: VCG

With espionage activities targeting China and its people, such tactics are also becoming more diverse. Chinese experts believe we should further promote national security education in more methods to prevent some people from falling into traps set by spy forces.

Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) warned the public in its latest article published on Wednesday that foreign spy intelligence agency personnel may use methods such as making friends through "romantic relationships" or offering online jobs to ask people to collect documents, distribute surveys or take photos of landscapes and buildings under the guise of legitimate activities, using lucrative rewards as bait. 

Once they obtain this information, foreign intelligence agencies may use threats, enticements, or blackmail to exert control over people, making it difficult for them to escape.

The ministry listed several cases adapted from real life incidents with characters using pseudonyms in the article released on its official WeChat account.

In one case, Liu, a sophomore student in a coastal city in southern China, was dating a woman named Xiao Min through a social networking app. Xiao Min introduced Liu to a part-time job at a magazine, which involved taking photos of tourists and yachts at the local port, with a reward of hundreds of yuan for each shift. Later on, Xiao Min asked Liu to take photos of the arrival and departure of military ships at a designated location. She also asked him to switch to using overseas communication apps and use "code words" to contact her. 

The national security agency quickly discovered and stopped Liu's illegal activities. Due to the timely intervention that prevented serious harm, the national security agency did not pursue criminal charges against Liu, but his own academy and life were still severely affected.

In another case, a "Director Zhang" from an investigation company contacted a student Wang who was job hunting. Zhang persuaded Wang to go to military-sensitive areas to take photos of military aircraft and ships. At this point, Wang became very suspicions, prompting him to report the incident to the national security agency through the 12339 hotline.

It was confirmed that "Director Zhang" was indeed a member of a foreign intelligence agency. Afterward, the national security agency commended and rewarded Wang for his proactive reporting. 

An expert on national security who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Wednesday that as both the international and domestic environments are becoming increasingly challenging for national security, the areas and aspects touching national security are also expanding.

In previous years, Chinese people were not very well-informed and aware when it comes to national security. As long as a person strictly follows the law and regulations, does not seek personal gain, promptly reports any suspicious incidents to the authorities and firmly refuses obvious attempts to lure, corrupt or bribe, they will be safe, the expert noted.

The publicity by MSS and other relevant departments has played an important role in providing remedial education, which is particularly timely given the increasing intensity of the geopolitical struggle instigated by the US, according to the expert.

We should diversify the methods of promoting national security education, such as providing more vivid stories adapted by real anti-espionage cases through multimedia platforms, the expert put forward.

In recent years, China has released multiple films and TV series in the national security genre, and the MSS also has unveiled its first national security-themed comic series. All of these efforts aim to continuously raise public awareness of national security.