The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday confirmed that an admiral has been questioned over his alleged involvement in what could be one of the nation’s most serious espionage cases.
Ministry spokesman Major-General David Lo (羅紹和) confirmed reports that an has come under investigation, but would not provide further details. Media reported that Admiral Hsu Chung-hua (徐中華), commander of the 146th Attack Squadron based in Magong, Penghu, had been transferred from his position.
Chengkung-class frigates, which are in the process of being armed with the Hsiung Feng III supersonic “carrier killer” anti-ship missile, are among the vessels comprising the 146th, which would play a primary role countering the Chinese navy in the event of hostilities in the Taiwan Strait.
The investigation is believed to be linked to the arrest in September of three senior military officers suspected of leaking secrets to China, one of the most serious breaches in Taiwan’s history.
One of the officers arrested in the raid was Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫), formerly a commander in charge of political warfare at the navy’s meteorology and oceanography office, which keeps highly classified maps and charts.
Military experts say China could learn more about the operation of Taiwan’s submarines if it obtained such information.
The latest probe has spurred concerns that despite eased tensions, China has not reduced its hostility toward Taiwan.
“As more ranking officers have been involved in such espionage cases over the last few years, we are afraid that China has infiltrated various levels of the military,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) told reporters.
In related developments, the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) under the State Oceanic Administration on Saturday commissioned the Haijian 8002, China’s first kiloton-class civilian surveillance ship, which will join the CMS fleet in charge of patrolling and enforcing China’s sovereignty rights in the East China Sea, which includes the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.
The ship can travel 5,000 nautical miles (9,260km) without refueling and, according to reports, is equipped with high-speed law-enforcement boats, two water cannons and a 152-decibel directional warning system strong enough to shatter glass at a distance of 3km.
Taiwanese and Japanese coast guard vessels have engaged in water cannon battles in waters close to the Diaoyutais in recent months.
The Haijian’s mapping system is reportedly connected to the Beidou satellite-based navigation system.
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Twitter aims to ‘play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements,’ the US company said Twitter has thrown its support behind the “Milk Tea Alliance” of democracy movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing Western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters. The social media company yesterday prominently displayed flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support democracy advocates in places that have in the past few years seen historic protests and share a love for the beverage. The emoji will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which was posted been 11 million times
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight