Taipei prosecutors yesterday indicted five Taiwanese, including four retired military officers, and a retired Chinese army officer on charges of espionage and leaking state secrets, in a case authorities said involved the largest Chinese spy ring that had operated in Taiwan for some years.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said the spy ring, allegedly headed by former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer Zhen Xiaojiang (鎮小江), had passed classified military information about Taiwan’s radar stations, advanced aircraft and other weapon systems to China.
“Zhen was under instruction to recruit both retired and active service Taiwanese military officers to develop a network for espionage against Taiwan, which has done severe damage to our national security,” the office said in a statement.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Previous reports have said that Zhen, who reportedly joined China’s intelligence agency after retiring from the PLA, obtained Hong Kong residency in 2005, and had since entered Taiwan numerous times on business and tourist visas.
The Taiwanese defendants are former army major-general Hsu Nai-chuan (許乃權), air force colonel Chou Chih-li (周自立), air force pilot Sung Chia-lu (宋嘉祿), air force official Yang Jung-hua (楊榮華), and Lee Huan-yu (李寰宇), a Greater Kaohsiung nightclub operator.
According to prosecutors, through the retirees he recruited, Zhen was able to make contact with active duty officers who had access to classified materials, which he handed over to a senior Chinese military intelligence official known by the pseudonym of Mao Shangyu (毛尚云).
Investigators said the spy ring passed on classified information on the Mirage 2000 aircraft, the ultra-high-frequency radar installation on Leshan (樂山) in Hsinchu County, and more sophisticated military weaponry and technology.
Prosecutors allege that Zhen paid his informants about NT$300,000 and provided free trips to Southeast Asia in return for the classified military material, and arranged for some of them to meet Chinese intelligence officers while abroad.
Prosecutors said investigators are still following up the leads, and the probe could be expanded and more charges filed.
Hsu served as a commander of Kinmen’s defense command, a commander at the Republic of China Military Academy in Greater Kaohsiung and was once in charge of defense on Matsu.
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘ONE PERSON PER UNIT’: People undergoing home isolation cannot stay in a housing unit in which non-isolated people live, unless they have special approval Starting tomorrow, people under home isolation would be required to follow the “one person per housing unit” rule if in private housing, or stay at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the rules require people under home quarantine to be quarantined with one person per housing unit, or at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility. “Starting on March 1, individuals under home isolation will also be subject to the ‘one person per housing unit’ rule,” he said. “We
‘UNITED FRONT’: Grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or hosts is a Chinese tactic to spread propaganda to influence young people, a source said As part of its “united front” tactics, China has been grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or Internet program hosts, a source said on condition of anonymity. Over the past year, about 1,000 Taiwanese living in China have participated in training programs and competitions for show hosts held in several cities, including Xiamen, Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the source said on Saturday. “Beijing is taking advantage of the openness of the Internet to spread propaganda about acceptance of China, and about ‘national security,’” the source said, adding that Taiwan’s national security officials are racing to fix the problem. Chinese infiltration of