JANUARY 19, 2022 BY JOSEPH FITSANAKIS
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN THE Chinese province of Jiangsu have publicly rewarded two fishing crews for finding and turning in to security authorities a number of “suspicious” underwater devices.
In a leading article on its website, China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday that other fishing crews should come forward upon finding similar devices, to prove their patriotism and claim financial rewards from the state.
Tuesday’s rewards were handed out by state officials in Jiangsu, a largely coastal region in China’s east. It is located north of Shanghai and is among the most densely populated provinces in the country. According to Xinhua, local officials held a “Special Commendation and Reward Symposium for Coastal National Security and People’s Defense Lines”. During the ceremony, state officials reportedly commended and rewarded 11 fishing crew members and 5 land-based personnel for “salvaging and turning over” a number of “suspicious underwater” devices. The latter were described in the article as “reconnaissance devices” that had been “secretly deployed by foreign countries” in China’s territorial waters.
The report relayed an incident that prompted the initial discovery of a “device shaped like a torpedo”. The latter was collected by a member of a fishing crew and turned over to the Ministry of State Security (MSS). The device was reportedly found to pose “a national security risk”, as it had likely been deployed by “a new type of marine unmanned underwater vehicle, developed by a major country”. This alleged underwater vehicle is said to deploy reconnaissance devices that “can measure hydrological data and environmental parameters around China’s coasts”, according to the report. The report did not specify the name of the “major country” that is allegedly behind these devices.
The Xinhua report said that fishing crews in Jiangsu have found 10 underwater surveillance devices since 2020, and included a photograph of a display containing images of some of these devices. It claimed all were “foreign made”. The report concluded by congratulating the fishing crews for turning in the devices to the MSS, and urging more fishing crews to come forward with similar discoveries, so as to claim sizeable monetary awards and receive public commendations.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 19 January 2022