At least 10 Chinese moles are believed to have penetrated Taiwan’s national security units, a retired agent told media yesterday, as Taiwan reels from its worst espionage case in half a century.
The warning came after Taiwan arrested General Lo Hsien-che (羅賢哲) last month on charges of spying for China, which despite warming relations between Taipei and Beijing and growing cross-strait interactions maintains an aggressive espionage posture.
“Some of the suspected Chinese agents have not yet been arrested as the authorities are short of solid evidence against them, even though they have been closely monitored for some time,” the retired agent told the Chinese-language China Times on condition of anonymity.
Others have been left to believe they are safe “for strategic reasons,” he said, implying that they could be used, for example by security forces feeding the agents wrong information in the hope it would be passed on to China.
He said that since Lo had escaped detection by Taiwan’s security forces for nine years before his arrest, his case might just be the tip of an iceberg.
“Many more spies for [China] might have gone undetected. The extent of the infiltration into Taiwan’s government units may be worse than imagined,” he said.
Lo was recruited by China while stationed in Thailand between 2002 and 2005 and was detained late last month.
Addressing political warfare officers and unit heads yesterday, Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) said that in the wake of the “leak crisis,” a thorough review of personnel in the ranks was necessary.
Additional reporting by staff writer and CNA