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2022-06-08 10:44:30

Chinese authorities are offering cash handouts worth thousands of yuan and certificates of acknowledgement for those providing tipoffs on actions that breach national security, domestic media outlet Legal Daily reported Tuesday.

The four-tier reward system, effective Monday, has cash rewards starting from less than 10,000 yuan to over 100,000 yuan ($1,500-$15,000) for those who provide verified information or specific clues about the violations, the media report said, citing the Ministry of State Security. The highest amounts are for tipoffs that “make exceedingly significant contributions.”

“The mounting infiltration and theft from foreign intelligence agencies and other hostile forces have posed a huge threat to our national security,” a ministry representative said Tuesday. “The rule will more broadly and widely motivate the public and provide strong support for dissolving security risks.”

Citizens were asked to make the reports using a dedicated hotline, by mail, or in person and encouraged to report without anonymity. The scheme is part of a plan that started in 2019 to reward people who have provided tipoffs, according to the ministry representative.

Local security bureaus have also rolled out their own cash incentives, with the southeastern city of Putian announcing up to 50,000 yuan for providing tipoffs about national security being jeopardized in 2020. The first cash reward of 10,000 yuan was handed to a university student last year after reporting an unspecified reactionary speech on the internet.

China established special anti-espionage and national security laws in 2014 and 2015 respectively, covering a wide range of actions deemed a threat to state sovereignty and security. The country further rolled out an anti-espionage regulation in 2021, which provides a legal framework for enterprises and organizations to combat foreign infiltration with preventive measures.

The new scheme rolled out Monday created a buzz on social media. While many supported the incentive and recognized the importance of defending national security, some had concerns about whether it would constitute a violation, something not clearly specified in the announcement.

“Does faking a COVID-19 test report count? Does not implementing the national COVID-19 prevention measures count? I hope the regulation could give us some conclusions,” one user wrote on microblogging platform Weibo.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: VCG)