Monday, November 3, 2014

China Folk Counterespionage Manual

“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Or an American spy. Or a “hostile foreign force.” So says the “China Folk Counterespionage Manual,” a “how to spot a spy” guide circulating on the Internet. 

Click to enlarge.
The manual, whose origin is murky, first emerged several years ago and has recently enjoyed a renaissance in popularity on social media sites. It offers Chinese citizens tips on how to detect spies in their midst. It was even cited in Global Times, a state newspaper, in late August following the detention of Kevin and Julia Garratt, a Canadian couple who ran a cafe in Dandong, on the North Korean border, on suspicion of stealing military secrets. In an infographic, the newspaper described them as examples of possible foreign spies masquerading as “ordinary citizens.”

The manual might be something more suited for a James Bond movie if it weren’t for the government’s own new emphasis on rooting out “foreign spies,” demonstrated on Saturday when President Xi Jinping signed an updated national security law, named the Counterespionage Law. (more)