China has offered its citizens cash rewards up to 100,000 yuan (Rs 11,64,386) as well as special certificates for giving information or tip-offs regarding foreign spies or other breaches of national security. While rewards for these kinds of tip-offs have always existed, the new measures are aimed at standardising rewards and motivating the public at a time of intensifying “threats” from foreign intelligence agencies and other quarters according to a state media outlet.
According to The Guardian, citizens could get “spiritual rewards”, in the form of certificates of appreciation, or “material rewards” of cash up to more than 100,000 yuan, depending on the value of the tip-off.
They can lodge their reports through specialized website, hotline, by post or even in person, the report further said. The first person who reports it would be eligible for the reward, but that doesn't disqualify others either.
According to The Guardian,security agencies of the state would check the complaint to see whether it is true and if it offered new information before deciding on the reward. But the ministry of security also noted that it had a mechanism to prevent citizens from abusing the system by fabricating evidence and making “malicious” complaints.
This new initiative comes against the backdrop of the Chinese government tightening its control over the country. China has seen rising dissent during its lockdowns all over and especially in Hong Kong, where citizens have been openly criticial of the government tightening its grip on the province.
Earlier this month countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States joined the European Union in voicing alarm over the selection process of the new leader of Hong Kong, which they called a "continued assault on political pluralism and fundamental freedoms".