China rolls out online website to report 'foreign spies'

This year for China's National Security Education Day, Beijing released an anti-espionage cartoon and a website for anyone in the world to report activity that could 'dismember' the Chinese state

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(Image stills from Beijing's educational anti-espionage cartoon)

(Image stills from Beijing's educational anti-espionage cartoon)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The surveillance state in China is increasing its efforts to crackdown on what it calls “foreign collusion” and efforts to “dismember the state” by launching a new website to accept tips concerning foreign spies and activities that would “subvert the state power and overthrow the socialist system.”

As part of China’s National Security Education Day on April 15, the government has introduced the “Ministry of State Security Reporting Platform.” Anyone on the internet can now report on any person or activity they believe might “endanger state security.”

The website offers a Chinese as well as an English version, so anyone in the world can potentially file a report on anyone in the world who may pose a threat to China’s “sovereignty, territorial integrity or national security.”

The site www.12339.gov.cn includes a detailed list of 21 items that could be classified as activities directed against the “socialist state.”

The website also specifically notes that activity “outside the territory” of China is of interest to the authorities in Beijing, suggesting the government hopes people living abroad will help China keep tabs on activity in foreign nations as well. The reports can be filed on individuals, organizations, or events.

There is even an “anonymity informant” option on the website. However, to limit potential abuses of the system, the website notes that only three reports per informant may be submitted within a 24 hour period.

Japan Times notes that starting in 2015, China enacted a National Security Education Day on April 15. This past week, China also released an animated video created to teach citizens what clues to be on the lookout for in determining who might be a potential foreign spy. The video, released April 12, is available to be viewed on Weibo.


(Image stills from Beijing's educational anti-espionage cartoon)

In the past, on the first National Security Education Day, Beijing warned government workers of “dangerous love” or dating handsome foreigners who may turn out to be spies.

The website also notes that informants or “whistleblowers” will be protected for coming forward, and that those who have “contributed significantly” may even be rewarded, though the website does not explain any reward system.