China Encourages Kids To Find Out If Their Parents Are Foreign Spies

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The cartoon, which encourages spying as a family hobby, is being shown in Chinese schools as part of a month of national security awareness.

China is encouraging a new hobby among families: espionage.

As part of what is known as the National Security Education Day, the communist government released a video, explaining children to spot spies in their families.

In a 10-minute video, aimed at 7-to-12-year-old children, a young boy learns to tell if his father was giving Chinese military information to "foreign" governments.

The child shares his story of finding about national security with his class. One day,  his father, a military engineer, was about to email photos of his workplace to a "foreign magazine."

Just when  the dad was about to press the send button, the child's grandfather barges in the room, holding a state-run newspaper and pointing to an article about a man who got arrested for providing over 500 photos of China’s first aircraft carrier to an overseas magazine in 2014.

"Grandpa, what are spies?” the boy asks.

“Spies are those sent by enemies to collect information about us,” his grandfather replies. “In peaceful times, the information is used to damage our development. In wartime it can kill numerous compatriots.”

Deterred by the conversation, the engineer sends a different email, saying he cannot provide the photos. The "foreign magazine" responds with threats and even tries to lure him with offers of "green cards" for his whole family.

The distraught engineer then reports to Chinese authorities, confessing he tried to engage in espionage for foreign entities.

In response, the local national security bureau promises to protect him.

This isn't the first time China has distributed material to promote counter-espionage among citizens. In fact, the communist government has been encouraging counter-espionage since Chinese PM Xi Jinping took charge in 2012. Since April, China has started offering a reward of 500,000 yuan ($72,000) to its people for turning in spies.

Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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