Dai Li Memorial Hall (戴雨農先生紀念館), the Military Intelligence Bureau’s (MIB) on-site memorial for intelligence operatives killed in the line of duty, was reopened on March 8 after two years of renovation.
The memorial houses the spirit tablets of 75 people killed while conducting intelligence operations at home or abroad, including military intelligence officers and assets, as well as a book of deeds of 4,903 military heroes.
The bureau also disclosed that Liu Liankun (劉連昆), a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) major general, executed by Beijing in 1999 for espionage, was among the fallen honored at the shrine.
Liu, the PLA’s then-director of logistics, was the highest-ranking Chinese officer the bureau has ever turned, a bureau official said on condition of anonymity, adding that Liu’s defection was motivated by discontent with China’s political direction at the time.
Liu passed on crucial intelligence to Taiwanese officials about the Qiandao Lake Incident in 1994, the missile crisis in 1996 and then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) death in 1997, an official said.
PLA brigadier general Shao Zhengzong (邵正宗), who was also executed in 1999, is honored at the shrine next to Liu.
The shrine also commemorates major Ma Mei-chiang (馬美強), a military intelligence officer killed in Moscow in 2000 while on a mission.
As Liu and Shao died providing crucial intelligence to Taiwan, the bureau considers them martyrs of the nation, which justifies their enshrinement at the memorial, the official said.
It is customary for military intelligence officers to make an offering at the shrine prior to a mission, both to obtain blessings from the heroic spirits and to remind themselves that they must succeed in their mission or die trying, he said.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in a speech she made at the memorial to mark its reopening that elevating the nation’s intelligence capabilities has never been more important, as China refuses to abandon military aggression.
The motto “We write the blank pages of history” written on a wall at the memorial testifies to the uncelebrated and unknown sacrifices of the intelligence community in defense of freedom and democracy, Tsai said before extending her gratitude to their memory.
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