New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠), his father, and New Party youth wing executives Ho Han-ting (侯漢廷) and Lin Ming-cheng (林明正) were indicted yesterday after prosecutors said they found evidence of espionage and Chinese funding.
The three New Party defendants “had endangered national security and social stability by developing an organization for use by the Chinese government and its military” in contravention of the National Security Act (國家安全法), the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said.
Wang’s father, Wang Chin-pu (王進步), was charged with being an accessory to espionage and other illegal activities conducted by the other defendants.
Photo: Cheng Hung-ta, Taipei Times
Prosecutors said they uncovered evidence of money transfers from China to the three party members to work with convicted Chinese spy Zhou Hongxu (周泓旭) in his efforts to infiltrate Taiwan’s military and connect with Taiwanese politicians and youth organizations.
Zhou, a former graduate student at National Chengchi University, was Beijing’s liaison and was also responsible for monitoring progress and collecting reports made by Wang Ping-chung, Ho and Lin.
Zhou had set up a “Star Fire Secret Unit” and gave the four of them code names: Wang Ping-chung was “One,” Lin was “Two,” Ho was “Three” and Zhou was “Four,” the prosecution statement said.
Nine retired and active military officials were contacted to obtain classified materials, most of whom reportedly had links to the nation’s weapons procurement programs, prosecutors said.
Documents belonging to Wang Ping-chung showed that he was already working with Chinese officials in 2013, before meeting Zhou, and had later written that officials from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office had promised to provide him and Zhou up to NT$16 million (US$535,296 at the current exchange rate) a year for their work in Taiwan, they said.
Prosecutors said they had uncovered Wang Ping-chung’s accounting ledgers that showed money transfers from Chinese sources, in addition to a work document on which Wang Ping-chung wrote: “[I will] work under the guidance and assistance of the Chinese Communist Party to unite and integration the forces working to achieve unification across the Taiwan Strait.”
Wang Ping-chung allegedly cofounded the pro-unification Web site Fire News (燎原新聞網) with Zhou, which they used to recruit Taiwanese into their spy network.
The Taiwan High Court in April handed Zhou a 14-month prison sentence for attempting to recruit Taiwanese officials.
After the indictments were announced, Wang Ping-chung, Ho and Lin held a news conference in Taipei, at which Wang Ping-chung accused the prosecutors of “concocting a story” without any “smoking gun” evidence.
“If the judiciary has the guts, then I will ask for an open trial so that the public can see and judge for themselves,” he said.
Lin accused the administration of “adopting the ways of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party to crack down on dissidents.”
A public health expert yesterday warned that too many people are meeting in small groups in coffee shops and restaurants without keeping a proper distance from one another, as he urged the government to loosen the criteria for testing young Taiwanese returning from abroad for COVID-19. People need to keep a social distance of at least 2m, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health dean Chan Chang-chuan (詹長權) said as the college presented its seventh weekly report on COVID-19 at a morning news conference. More than 300,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in more than three-quarters of all
TWEET CONFIRMED: The US’ Morgan Ortagus backed up Taiwan, saying China only admitted that human-to-human transmission was possible as late as Jan. 20 Taiwan warned the WHO and China about possible human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus at the end of last year, but the global health body did not make it public, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Department of International Organizations Director-General Bob Chen (陳龍錦) made the remark at a news briefing in Taipei, when asked about statements made by US Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. “Dec. 31— that’s the same day Taiwan first tried to warn WHO of human-human transmission. Chinese authorities meanwhile silenced doctors and refused to admit human-human transmission until Jan. 20, with catastrophic consequences,” Ortagus wrote on
MORE CASES EXPECTED: Many young Taiwanese would be returning home over the next two weeks, as schools in many nations closed, the health minister said Twenty-six new COVID-19 cases were confirmed yesterday, including five clusters, and all but one were imported, bringing Taiwan’s total number to 195, as border controls and home quarantine measures prove their effectiveness, the head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. Twelve of the new cases were in people tested at airports upon their return, 11 were in people under home quarantine and two were people who tested positive after seeking medical treatment, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at its daily news conference. “The new domestic case is a woman who lives with
ON THE LOOKOUT: A Lockheed EP-3 reconnaissance plane was yesterday seen flying southwest of Kaohsiung, according to Twitter account ‘Aircraft Spots’ A Twitter account that tracks military aircraft movements has indicated an increase in US military activity near Taiwan, coinciding with an increase in Chinese military activity in the area. Planes from the US Seventh Fleet have been sighted frequently above the South China Sea in the past several days, and a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane was seen flying close to Taiwanese airspace southwest of Kaohsiung yesterday, according to posts by the Twitter account Aircraft Spots. The EP-3 was seen circling above the same area, Aircraft Spots said, adding that other planes from the fleet were seen in the past few days