Taiwan must take strong steps to combat China’s espionage, infiltration, buying of media and influence, and other efforts to meddle in Taiwan’s elections, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said at a campaign rally in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) yesterday morning.
Cho’s remarks were in reaction to the confessions of William Wang Liqiang (王立強), a self-proclaimed Chinese spy who reportedly handed over information to Australian Security Intelligence Organisation officials after deciding to defect to Australia in May.
The Australian newspapers Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Saturday published Wang’s account of how he was recruited by the Chinese Community Party to conduct espionage activities in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and how China is seeking to interfere in Australia’s democracy.
Photo: Wu Chun-fong, Taipei Times
He claims to have visited Taiwan on a South Korean passport to interfere in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24 last year, and said he helped funnel campaign donations to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate.
Wang is seeking political asylum in Australia, where his wife and child already live.
“Rumors of such activities have long been talked about, and our party was victimized and has been badly hurt. Now finally a real person who has engaged in these activities has come out to disclose the details. So we must pay close attention to it, and must strengthen Taiwan’s internal defense system to combat against it,” Cho told the rally, calling for voters to reject all pro-China political parties.
However, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said Wang has defamed Han and has proven to be a fraudster.
Wu was referring to a post on Saturday on the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Jingan Branch’s official Sina Weibo page, which said that Wang, 26, is from Nanping, Fuijan Province, jobless and a “fugitive involved in cases.”
Wu wrote on Facebook that Wang has “defamed the KMT’s presidential candidate,” adding that the self-proclaimed spy has only presented his side of the story.
Wang’s case should have been investigated secretly, but it has been turned into a “campaign tool,” Wu wrote, adding: “The way it has been handled is not normal.”
The ruling party should thoroughly investigate the matter and handle it based on evidence, instead of playing along with Wang’s allegations and spreading fear among people, Wu wrote.
“All candidates nominated by the KMT have been selected in a fair and transparent manner, and they definitely love the country, the party and respect the people,” he said.
In related news, the National Security Bureau yesterday said that it has requested international partners and allies, as well as Taiwan’s other state security agencies, to monitor developments in Wang’s case.
As the details of Wang’s allegations need to be examined and verified, the public should not make conjectures that could lead to social discord, it said.
Additional reporting by Aaron Tu and CNA
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