The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld a ruling by a lower court that sentenced a former Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer last year to four years in prison for alleged violation of the National Security Act (國家安全法).
In September last year, the Taipei District Court found Zhen Xiaojiang (鎮小江), a retired PLA captain, guilty of setting up a spy ring in Taiwan.
Zhen, based in Xiamen, China, was found to have traveled to Taiwan frequently after he acquired Hong Kong residency in 2005.
Traveling on a tourist visa, Zhen set up the espionage ring by recruiting retired and active Taiwanese military officers to collect secret military intelligence, according to the district court.
Retired Republic of China Army major-general Hsu Nai-chuan (許乃權) who once ran unsuccessfully for the post of Kinmen county commissioner, was also given a three-year jail term at the district court in relation to the case.
Hsu is the highest-ranking army officer in Taiwan to be prosecuted for an offense against national security.
The Taiwan High Court yesterday reduced the sentence for Hsu to two years and 10 months.
Teng Chen-chiu (鄧振球), the presiding High Court judge, said that although Hsu was found guilty of helping Zhen expand his spy network by introducing other retired and serving military officers, his conduct could only be determined as an “attempt” — an offense that occurs when a person comes dangerously close to carrying out a criminal act and intends to commit the act, but does not commit it.
As for Zhen, the court found that the number of criminal acts involving the Chinese national was higher than those unearthed in the first trial, Teng said.
However, thanks to Zhen’s confession and cooperation with the trial proceedings, the court decided to retain the original sentence, he said.
The ruling can be appealed.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
MISSILE PATHS: Certain information on the Chinese missile fire was not disclosed to maintain secrecy over military intelligence-gathering capabilities, the MND said Military experts yesterday speculated on the implication of the government’s tight-lipped response and the lack of air-raid sirens during the first day of China’s military drills the previous day. On Thursday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched 11 Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan, a day after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from the country, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that China fired nine missiles toward Taiwan, including four that flew over Taiwan proper. However, China’s exhibition of force failed to terrorize the local populace, because
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on