The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a ruling sentencing retired major general Hou Shih-cheng (侯石城) to eight months in prison for trying to recruit military officials to develop a spy network for China.
Hou was a commander in the Republic of China (ROC) Army, served as a section chief at the Office of the General Staff and held various posts in the army.
Hou was promoted to major general in 1999 and became commander of the army’s Armor Training Command, based in Hsinchu County, in 2006.
After retiring in 2008, Hou started a business with the intention of expanding it into China.
In July 2010, he visited the World Expo in Shanghai, where he met a Shanghai City Government official, surnamed Tang (唐), and a subordinate of Tang, surnamed Yang (楊), an investigation found.
Tang said he was the head of the Shanghai City Government 12th Section Office and promised to help Hou’s business endeavors in China in exchange for Hou introducing him to Taiwanese military officials and developing a network, the probe found.
In November 2012, Hou took two colonels from the Armor Training Command on a golf trip to Malaysia, whose expenses were paid by Tang, the investigation said.
Hou was paid 25,000 yuan (US$3,806 at the current exchange rate) by the Chinese side and was instructed to give 5,000 yuan each and expensive tea sets to the two colonels, surnamed Wang (王) and Liang (梁), the probe found.
In January 2013, Hou took the two colonels to another all-expenses-paid trip to Kuala Lumpur, where they met with Tang and Yang.
Wang and Liang said they refused the gifts presented by the Chinese officials, and also returned the 5,000 yuan to Hou, thinking they could be compromised by the money and gifts.
The colonels said Hou had given the Chinese officials some military materials, including their personal background and army service details.
The investigation was launched after the colonels notified the authorities about Hou’s activities.
Investigators put Hou under surveillance and wiretapped his telephone.
They found that Hou provided Chinese officials with information on Taiwanese military officials.
The court found Hou guilty of trying to recruit military officials, passing on sensitive information to Chinese and trying to develop a spy network, which had undermined the nation’s security.
Being a major general, Hou should be aware of China’s attempts to infiltrate the Taiwanese military, the court said.
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