Chinese man unwittingly buys 4 discarded books of confidential military information for less than $1

By Jurassic JennJun 15, 2024 14:39 PMCuriosity
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China's secrets for less than $1
China's secrets for less than $1. Source: www.huffpost.com

A surprising turn of events occurred when a military enthusiast stumbled upon classified military documents among discarded books at a local recycling station in China. The retired man, known as Mr. Zhang, quickly realized the implications of his find and promptly reported the incident to the authorities, SSP writes.

The Ministry of State Security has commended Mr. Zhang for his vigilant actions, highlighting the potential consequences of someone with malicious intentions obtaining such sensitive information. While the content of the documents was not disclosed, the ministry emphasized the importance of protecting national security given the escalating tensions between China and the United States.

This particular social media post, shared by the state security agency, is part of a series aimed at engaging readers through compelling narratives. With concerns over information theft and transfers at an all-time high, these stories seek to raise awareness about the significance of safeguarding confidential and secret data.

According to the post, Mr. Zhang, a former employee of a state-owned company and a collector of military literature, chanced upon two bags of new books at the recycling station. Intrigued, he purchased four books for a mere 6 yuan (approximately 85 cents). Only later did he realize he had unwittingly acquired classified military secrets.

Upon Mr. Zhang's report, state security agents promptly arrived at the recycling station to investigate. Their findings revealed that two military personnel, responsible for shredding over 200 books, had instead sold them as paper waste—30 kilograms (equivalent to 65 pounds)—to the recycling center for only 20 yuan ($2.75).

The authorities successfully seized the books while also implementing measures to rectify the mishandling of such materials within the military system.

This incident sheds light on China's convoluted state security infrastructure and opaque regulations surrounding state secrets. The definition of what constitutes a state secret has recently expanded, resulting in investigations of both Chinese and foreign consultancies involved in gathering or sharing economic information.

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