As students flooded back into Beijing’s top universities in early September, a propaganda blitz around campuses signaled an ominous addition to their syllabus: a crash course on how to catch spies.

At the government-run Tsinghua University videos were beamed onto faculty screens instructing teachers and students to become a "defense line” against foreign forces, while the Beijing University of Technology threw a national-security themed garden party, according to the nation’s spy agency.

Students at Beihang University, an aeronautics institute under U.S. sanctions for its military links, were even asked to play an interactive training game, called Who’s The Spy? "In what special way will the college students around you reinvigorate national security?” the Ministry of State Security wrote on its new WeChat account.