To Beijing with love: Chinese security poster warns of ‘dangerous’ handsome foreign spies who steal hearts – and secrets

Education campaign, aimed at rank-and-file state workers, tells of civil servant Xiao Li wooed by fake scholar into passing on government documents

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 April, 2016, 6:58pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 April, 2017, 5:59pm

China marked National Security Education Day with a comic-book poster warning young female government workers about dating handsome foreigners, who could turn out to have secret agendas.

Titled Dangerous Love, the 16-panel poster tells the story of an attractive young Chinese civil servant nicknamed Xiao Li, or “Little Li”, who meets a red-headed foreign man at a dinner party and starts a relationship.

The man, David, claims to be a visiting scholar, but actually he is a foreign spy who butters up Xiao Li with compliments about her beauty, bouquets of roses, fancy dinners and romantic walks in the park.

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After Xiao Li provides David with secret internal documents from her job at a government propaganda office, the two are arrested.

In one of the poster’s final panels, Xiao Li is shown sitting handcuffed before two policemen, who tell her that she has a “shallow understanding of secrecy for a state employee. You are suspected of violating our nation’s law.”

The poster has appeared on local governments’ public bulletin boards, targeting mainly rank-and-file state employees.

A Beijing district government said in a statement that it would display the poster to educate its employees about keeping classified information confidential and reporting to state security agencies if they spotted any spying activity.

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It said it would ensure employees were familiar with ways to counter espionage.

The central government’s inaugural National Security Education Day, held last Friday, was meant to make people aware about security problems in China, and was marked by speeches and the distribution of materials.