- China is offering its citizens rewards of over $15,000 for tip-offs on national security threats.
- Rewards could also be “spiritual,” which come in the form of certificates of appreciation.
- Chinese internet users welcomed the move, with many saying they would show their “full support.”
China is offering its citizens cash rewards of more than 100,000 yuan ($15,000) for tip-offs on “acts endangering national security,” the Ministry of State Security said in a notice on Monday.
Besides these so-called “material rewards,” eligible individuals could also be offered “spiritual rewards,” which would come in the form of certificates of appreciation, the notice said.
Tip-offs can be made in person, online, or by phone and post, but the information must be new to the authorities before issuing a reward. In addition, if the whistleblower’s safety is compromised by making a report, they may request personal protection from national security agencies, the notice read.
According to The Guardian, Chinese authorities have rewarded citizens who expose foreign spy activities or other security breaches for years. However, the new measures seek to standardize the incentives across the nation and motivate more people to uncover threats, a ministry representative said on Wednesday, per state-owned outlet Legal Daily.
“The formulation of the measures is conducive to fully mobilizing the enthusiasm of the general public to support and assist in national security work, widely rallying the hearts, morale, wisdom, and strength of the people,” the representative told the outlet.
The measures come as foreign intelligence agencies and “various hostile forces” have ramped up their “infiltration activities” in China, said the representative, without providing details.
On Chinese social media, users warmly welcomed the move, with many people saying they would show their “full support” for the initative. The hashtag “rewards announced for citizens reporting national security threats” has received 60 million views on the Twitter-like platform Weibo.
“Honestly, I would report any national security threats if I could find them, even without a reward,” a user wrote.