Fishermen hit jackpot thanks to ‘foreign’ spy drones – reports — Analysis

Over a dozen people have been rewarded by the authorities for having captured 10 devices that are suspicious since 2020

Eleven fishermen and five “Related personnel” reaped the rewards of their vigilance on Monday – quite literally – with authorities in China’s Jiangsu Province remunerating them generously for capturing a total of 10 “Since 2020, suspicious foreign devices have been spying in Chinese territory waters.” According to China’s state-affiliated Global Times outlet, upon technical investigation all 10 drones turned out be foreign-made and “It poses a danger to national security

Recent years have seen a lot of cases similar to this. In fact, Jiangsu Province, where the latest monetary rewards were handed out, has been holding annual conferences since 2016, aimed at both increasing residents’ awareness and praising those who have intercepted suspicious devices.

A fisherman seized a drone-like ship that was being used to gather intelligence in April 2013. CCTV claims that the 3 meter long unmanned boat carried surveillance equipment, solar panels and antennas. Authorities later reportedly described it as a “reconnaissance device secretly placed by a foreign country in China’s waters.” Back in 2018, a total of 18 people were rewarded by authorities in the said province for netting nine ‘spy’ devices, the BBC reported.

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This region’s unusually high number of drone captures and sightings may partly be due to its geography. Jiangsu Province has a coastline that stretches more than 1,000 km (620 miles), and is facing Japan and South Korea. Chinese authorities still have not revealed the source of these captured unmanned ships and drones.

Beijing appears to be taking the issue seriously. This is evident in a reward scheme that was announced in 2017. It promises cash payments worth up to 500,000yuan (78,783) for anyone who provides useful information to authorities about spying. Some cities in China have gone so far as to hang out banners, hold public exhibitions, and hand out brochures to raise people’s awareness regarding suspected threats to national security.

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