Sat, Feb 14, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Presidential Office denies China spy recruitment report

AP , TAIPEI

The Presidential Office yesterday denied a newspaper report that said the National Security Council (NSC) had ordered the organization in charge of the nation’s espionage efforts to cease the recruitment of agents to work for the nation inside China.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) denied the report, calling it “pure fiction.”

Wang’s comments came after a report in yesterday’s Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) claimed that the NSC had ordered the National Security Bureau to halt its surveillance work in China.

OPPOSITION

Reports of the alleged move comes amid continuing efforts by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government to improve relations with Beijing.

Ma says he wants to build mutual confidence in military affairs and sign a peace agreement with Beijing.

The report said the National Security Bureau opposed the order, because it reflects an optimism on cross-strait reconciliation that cannot be justified by events on the ground.

In its response, the bureau did not explicitly rebut the story.

NO RELAXATION

“Efforts to maintain national security cannot stop or be relaxed,” a bureau statement said.

“The bureau and relevant agencies all understand this and have always done their best to perform their jobs,” the statement said.

The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have routinely spied on each other since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, when the defeated Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) army fled to Taiwan following its defeat by the Communist Party.

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