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.
FEW REMAIN: Conservationists tried to stop the demolition, but to no avail, and the owner cannot be fined, as the structure was not listed as a historical building One of the few remaining Japanese colonial-era granaries in Taiwan was dismantled by its owner on Friday, prompting outrage from conservationists. The granary, which was at No. 16, Lane 11, Hangzhou S Rd Sec 1 in Taipei, belonged to Taiwan Takushoku Corp during the colonial era, conservationist Chang Wan-lin (張琬琳) said, adding that she and others had been collecting information to reapply to have the building protected as a historical structure. During the colonial era, the granary served the area from Monga (艋舺) to what is now Songshan District (松山) in the north, she said. “Back then the eastern part
SEEING THE POSITIVE: A majority of respondents in Taiwan said that they favored Trump because they think Taiwan-US ties would improve with him Among eight Asia-Pacific countries and regions, only Taiwan prefers US President Donald Trump over his challenger, former US vice president Joe Biden, in the upcoming US presidential election, a survey released on Thursday showed. According to the poll published by UK-based market research firm YouGov, 42 percent of Taiwanese favor Trump in the Nov. 3 election, while 30 percent back Biden and 28 percent have no opinion. In contrast, respondents in Malaysia favor Biden over Trump 62 percent to 9 percent, and in Singapore by 66 percent to 12 percent, the survey showed. Biden also led Trump in Australia (60 percent to 21
TROUBLEMAKER: The missiles, capable of striking up to 2,000km away, would likely be used to deter other nations from coming to Taiwan’s aid, a legislator said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly deployed advanced hypersonic missiles along China’s southeast coast, which Taiwan’s missile defense system might have difficulty intercepting, an analyst said yesterday. Citing an unnamed military source, the South China Morning Post said that the missile bases on the coasts of China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces have been upgraded and are stocked with DF-17 missiles, equipped with hypersonic glide vehicles. “The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “The
AIR CONTROL INCIDENT: The Hong Kong side said it ‘cannot accept this aircraft,’ ordering it to ascend to an unsafe altitude and forcing it to return to Kaohsiung The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) on Friday disclosed a full transcript of the communications between Taiwanese and Hong Kong air traffic controllers, rebutting the latter’s claim that a Taiwanese plane had voluntarily abandoned its flight path. Hong Kong denied permission for the plane to proceed to the disputed Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島), which are claimed by both Taiwan and China, the CAA said. The incident happened on Thursday when a civil aircraft chartered by the military was advised by Hong Kong air traffic controllers to not enter the airspace over a group of islands in the South China Sea