Investigation bureau agents yesterday raided the homes of two — one active and one retired — air force pilots allegedly recruited by a Chinese intelligence officer in a case described as the largest Chinese spy ring to have operated in Taiwan in recent years.
A preliminary investigation showed that a retired deputy commander of the Republic of China’s Air Force Academy’s flight training section surnamed Ke (葛) had been offered free trips to Southeast Asia by Zhen Xiaojiang (鎮小江), a Chinese intelligence officer, in exchange for confidential military information, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said.
The trips took place between 2009 and 2013 before Ke’s retirement.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“During that period, Ke provided confidential air force intelligence information to other Chinese intelligence officers introduced by Zhen at places outside of Taiwan and China,” prosecutors said.
Following his retirement, Ke persuaded his former colleague, a lieutenant colonel surnamed Lou (樓) who is the deputy director of the flight training section, to join the spy network set up by Zhen in Taiwan, they said.
Ke and Lou were brought in for questioning yesterday on suspicion of violating the National Security Act (國家安全法). Three witnesses were also present.
Zhen, a former People’s Liberation Army officer, was arrested in Taiwan in September last year.
He is accused of offering several retired Taiwanese military officers trips to Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.
He also allegedly arranged many dinner meetings between the military officers and Chinese intelligence personnel outside of Taiwan, during which the latter obtained information on the Mirage 2000 aircraft, the ultra-high-frequency radar installation on Leshan (樂山) in Hsinchu County and on Taiwan’s advanced military technology and newly procured weaponry.
Zhen was indicted in January, along with five Taiwanese military officers — including 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) and air force official Yang Jung-hua (楊榮華), — and Lee Huan-yu (李寰宇), a Kaohsiung nightclub operator.
The case is being tried at the Taipei District Court.
Prosecutors said Zhen is the first Chinese spy to be arrested in Taiwan in recent years, adding that his espionage ring is believed to include more than 10 Taiwanese military officers.
Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) told an impromptu press conference yesterday that the ministry would fully cooperate with prosecutors in the investigation.
He refused to comment on the probe, citing confidentiality.
“Given that the case revolving around Zhen originated from a tipoff received by the ministry’s public security division, it indicates the effectiveness of the army’s national security endeavors,” Lo said, adding that the ministry would step up its efforts to instill patriotism in soldiers.
The domestically designed Teng Yun 2 drone passed development milestones over the weekend, flying for more than 10 hours straight and circling Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the longest flight of an indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicle. Developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, the Teng Yun 2, or “Cloud Rider” (騰雲二型), recorded its longest flight yet over the weekend, after a three-hour test flight last month, followed by five and seven-hour stretches in the air. The Teng Yun 2 No. 1812 departed from Chiashan Air Base in Hualien County at 6:46pm on Saturday and flew on a
A slew of new measures are to take effect on Friday, including nationwide bring-your-own-cup discounts. The new rule requires chain beverage shops to offer discounts of at least NT$5 (US$0.17) to customers who bring their own cups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said. The policy would apply to more than 50,000 chain retail locations, including beverage shops, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. It aims to cut down on waste from single-use plastic cups, more than 2.2 billion of which were used in Taiwan in 2020, the agency said. For convenience, the EPA said it has asked retailers to display signs stating how
TIMING: 'The CHIPS Act funding is crucial for us. In other words, if the act’s passage is delayed for too long, we will certainly need to adjust,’ chairwoman Doris Hsu said GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓) plans to start construction on a US$5 billion wafer fabrication facility in Texas in November, after passage of the US$52 billion Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act. The fab would be the largest of its kind in the US and one of the largest in the world, with a monthly capacity of 1.2 million wafers, GlobalWafers said, adding that the investment would be the first new fab in the US in more than 20 years and critical to closing a semiconductor supply chain gap. The world’s No. 3 silicon wafer supplier said the project, which
COUNTERING CHINA: ‘When democracies demonstrate what we can do ... I have no doubt that we’ll win that competition every time,’ US President Joe Biden said US President Joe Biden rebooted his effort to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) after an earlier campaign faltered, enlisting the support of G7 leaders at their summit in Germany. The Build Back Better World initiative, named after Biden’s domestic spending and climate agenda, struggled to get off the ground because not enough G7 partners contributed financially when it was unveiled a year ago, people familiar with its lack of progress said. “When democracies demonstrate what we can do — all that we have to offer — I have no doubt that we’ll win that competition every time,” Biden said during