You may have heard recently that “foreign forces” are being blamed for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
For any mainlanders worried about spies, there’s a useful guide they can refer to!
It’s called the China Folk Counterespionage Manual, and is being shared in online forums. It advises nationals, especially those at universities, to be suspicious of:
- “Socially active students” whose income suddenly goes up.
- “Illogical science majors” who get excited about politics.
- Anyone who suggests taking the word “people’s” out of phrases like the People’s Republic of China, or the People’s Liberation Army.
- Anyone who suggests Women’s Day, Children’s Day, or Labor Day be removed from the state holiday list.
- Anyone who gets excited in a national crisis, and stirs up trouble by making extreme statements.
- Anyone who “provokes or lulls people on military websites into revealing what they know.” They might mix facts with disinformation to get more followers, and confuse them, or put out false data on military units or missiles to see who corrects them.
- People with one Internet account who build up online traction for months or even years using reasonable comments, but then gradually infiltrate sensitive issues. These netizens are considered to be “expert spies.”
As you can see, the list is very detailed. Seems like whoever wrote it is a bit paranoid because they have spying experience themselves… it takes one to know one!
Judging from this infographic that was featured by state media Global Times, the manual was most likely produced by government sources.