Lieutenant Chien Ching-kuo (錢經國), indicted by Greater Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office for allegedly violating the Statute for Punishment of Betrayal of Military Secrets (妨害軍機治罪條例), will remain in custody after approval was granted in an ongoing investigation, Greater Kaohsiung District Court said on Thursday.
Chien, 40, allegedly came into contact with the Chinese Ministry of State Security via an introduction by a retired military officer — whose name was withheld, but who is currently under investigation — and was paid by China to provide military secrets, later joining the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and recruiting members for the party within Taiwan.
Chien has denied any wrongdoing in court.
The indictment said that Chien, to facilitate his travels and trading of secrets, founded a company in Greater Kaohsiung, and treated former colleagues and current enlisted men, along with their family members, to trips to Southeast Asia in a bid to lure them into to the party.
Chien had allegedly recruited 10 or more people from military backgrounds to join the CCP, with some allegedly leaking military secrets to China, the indictment said.
It added that Chien had allegedly brought classified data on the navy’s plans to send ships to protect fishermen off the coast of Somalia to Hong Kong to give to the Chinese.
The navy had considered sending ships to the Gulf of Aden to protect Taiwanese fishing boats after numerous incidents of Taiwanese boats being harassed or captured by pirates off the coast of Somalia. However, the plan fell through due to both internal and international political concerns, as well as logistical difficulties.
Chien’s alleged operation was bought to light in September, when the person in charge of the investigation suspected Chien might be traveling to China to hand over military secrets and asked for a warrant to search his residence.
The Greater Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office and the military searched Chien’s residence before arresting him, with evidence found there allegedly implicating two other people: the navy’s former Meteorological and Oceanographic Office’s Political Warfare division chief, Commander Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫) and former Navy Fleet Command Headquarters Staff Lieutenant Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who shares the same name as the former president.
The Ministry of National Defense charged all three with spying and accepting bribes.
It is still looking into whether Chien leaked confidential secrets on Taiwan’s submarine force.
The Greater Kaohisung District Court approved a request to detain Chien and suspend his visiting rights on the grounds that he had attempted to fabricate his testimony and flee the country.
Additional reporting by Pao Chien-hsin
‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’: The ‘Global Times’ accused the DPP of offering politicians in Somaliland bribes and promoting Taiwanese independence by funding US think tanks The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denounced China’s Global Times for disseminating disinformation about Taiwan, after the Chinese state-run newspaper claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been bribing Somaliland politicians. Taiwan in August last year inaugurated the Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland, which is the nation’s only representative office whose title uses just the name “Taiwan.” The East African country also established a representative office in Taipei, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations. The Chinese-language Global Times on Monday accused the DPP of offering Somaliland politicians and their families considerable bribes, citing anonymous sources. The International Cooperation
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday in his Double Ten National Day message accused the Democratic Progressive Party government of inciting fear and anti-China sentiment, while making an appeal to Beijing to accept Taiwan’s existence. After attending the morning celebrations outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Ko, who is chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), wrote on Facebook a “happy birthday” message to the Republic of China (ROC) in which he reflected on the nation’s values, and condemned partisan politics and Chinese aggression. In the 110 years since Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) founded Asia’s first democratic republic, the ROC on Taiwan
Ambassador Theaters on Tuesday announced that its Breeze Center cinemas in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) would close late this month after screening thousands of major Hollywood movies and local favorites over two decades. Ambassador Theaters, one of the largest cinema chain operators in Taiwan, said that Oct. 25 would be the last day the Breeze Center cinemas screen movies, adding that its lease expires on that day. “We sincerely appreciate the support and recognition from audiences in Taipei over the past 20 years,” the company said. “We look forward to seeing you again in the future.” The cinemas started operating in 2001, upon