Mon, Aug 22, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Chinese agent does ‘disappearing’ act

INTO THIN AIR:Despite notification by US authorities that Bill Moo was being deported to Taiwan, and a press release to that effect, no one seems to know where, or who, he is

By J. Michael Cole  /  Staff Reporter

One of the alleged members of the “gang of four” was former minister of national defense Chen Chao-ming (陳肇敏), sources have told the Taipei Times. The other two allegedly included a former air force deputy commander in chief and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (漢翔航空) chairman, as well as a former electronic warfare section chief at the ministry’s Communication Electronics and Information Bureau.

A source also said the then--country manager at Lockheed Martin, Gus Sorensen, reportedly tried without success to convince senior management at the company to fire Moo, pointing to possible early doubts about his reliability.

Lo said the ministry had learned about the case after Moo was arrested in the US and that it had completed an internal investigation years ago, which found that no ministry or military officials were involved in the case.

“The investigation found that the case posed no threat to Taiwan’s national security,” he said.

The spokesman said the ministry could not comment further or speculate simply because Moo was the principal sales agent on the Po Sheng project, adding that Moo’s conspiracy “has nothing to do with the ministry.”

Weighing in on the possible repercussions of Moo’s return to Taiwan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Herman Shuai (帥化民), a member of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, said he had never heard of Moo.

However, he said the case was unlikely to have a negative impact on Taiwan’s efforts to secure the acquisition of F-16C/D aircraft and upgrades for its aging F-16A/B fleet from the US.

Given the sensitivity of the case and the exposure of Moo as a Chinese agent, Shuai said, Moo would “no longer be a valuable asset for anyone.”

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said it was “a disgrace” that both the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Justice were unaware of Moo’s return to Taiwan.

Tsai urged the government to immediately launch a thorough investigation to assess whether Taiwanese officials were involved and national security had been sabotaged.

Moo’s deportation coincides with Taiwan’s efforts to acquire the F-16C/Ds from the US. Unless Taiwan takes appropriate measures to reassure the US on Moo, the case could have a negative impact on the bid, Tsai said.

Another item sought by Taipei whose sale could be compromised if Washington loses confidence in Taiwan’s ability to protect against transfer of sensitive military technology to China, defense experts say, is the electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a key component in plans to upgrade Taiwan’s F-16A/Bs.

The US is expected to announce its final decision on the F-16 sale to Taiwan on Oct. 1.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHRIS WANG

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