Mon, Jan 10, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Ex-intelligence officers visit China

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Nineteen retired Taiwanese intelligence officials last month visited late General Tai Li’s (戴笠) hometown in Jiangshan City (江山市), Zhejiang Province, China, reports said yesterday.

The Chinese-language China Times reported that former National Security Bureau chief accountant Lieutenant General Hsu Ping-chiang (徐炳強) and former Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) official Major General Huang Chi-mei (黃其梅) led 17 retired MIB officials on a visit to Tai’s hometown — the first time former Taiwanese intelligence officials paid a formal visit to China.

Tai is known as the father of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) infamous intelligence apparatus during the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) presidency.

For many years, Hsu handled the nation’s spending on secret diplomatic and national security funds. He was charged in 2003 with embezzling money from a secret diplomatic fund, but was cleared by the Taipei District Court in 2004.

Huang spent many years handling intelligence on China at the MIB, the newspaper said.

The group left for Zhejiang on Tuesday, the paper said, adding that officials from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Jiangshan City branch and officials of the city’s United Front Work Department hosted the group during the five-day trip.

The group visited Tai’s old residence and the Jiangshan City Museum, which has displays on Tai relics, the report said.

The Taiwanese delegation and officials from Jiangshan City’s Taiwan Affairs Office also discussed restoration plans for Tai’s tomb in Nanjing and building a new tomb for Tai, it said.

The paper quoted Huang as saying the visit was at the invitation of the CCP. The group entered China and left the country together and no one was harassed during the trip, Huang said.

Responding to the visit, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said former intelligence officials should not be allowed to visit China because sensitive information can easily be leaked on such occasions.

Although Chinese intelligence officers did not meet members of the delegation, the visit was -sensitive because “the spy war never ends,” the China Times said, adding that intelligence gathering against Taiwan was now conducted through academic exchanges and commercial activities.

“China’s invitation could be bait to launch counter-intelligence,” the paper said.

Visits by government officials and military officers have become more frequent since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came into office. Closer contacts between retired Taiwanese military officers and Chinese authorities have sparked concerns in Washington, reports have said, with US officials especially concerned that such contacts could endanger longstanding military cooperation projects with Taiwan.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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