Media in North America continues to make much of Taiwan’s arrest of Major General Lo Hsien-che (羅賢哲) and what the West can learn from it.
Canada’s Vancouver Sun on Monday said the arrest highlighted the “dangers” of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policy “of seeking rapprochement with Beijing.”
It said Ma’s critics claim he was being “dangerously naive” and that he was not paying enough attention to Taiwan’s defenses “in the face of China’s continuing threat to invade.”
The newspaper said that in theory, “if Lo has given China key codes it could give Beijing the ability to confuse and frustrate both the defense of the island by Taiwan’s forces in the event of an invasion, and America’s efforts to come to the island’s aid.”
“Some reports say the only codes he could access would be the ones making Taiwan’s command and control systems available to the US military. American systems would not have been compromised,” it said.
“This is most likely true because, while the White House and the US State Department have generally welcomed Ma’s attempts to improve relations with Beijing, the Pentagon has seen a threat,” the paper said.
“It has been concerned that as Taipei snuggles up to Beijing, details of the military equipment and systems Washington supplies to Taiwan would no longer be secure,” it said.
The Sun said this was the reason the Pentagon has been reluctant to supply state-of-the-art weapons to Taiwan.
“As Ma begins to prepare for a re-election campaign next year, the spying case suggests there is little, if any, peace dividend from his overtures to Beijing,” it said.
“Indeed, last week China’s state-controlled Global Times newspaper quoted Li Fei (李非), an expert on Taiwan at China’s Xiamen University, as saying ‘Espionage activities have never ceased, even though cross-strait tensions have eased over the years,’” it said.