Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, and his campaign team yesterday questioned self-confessed former Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang’s (王立強) allegations about Chinese infiltration and urged President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration to release reliable information regarding the case.
Australian media on Saturday reported Wang’s account of how he was recruited by the Chinese Communist Party to spy on Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The media reports quoted Wang as saying that China had paid news networks CtiTV (中天), China Television (CTV, 中視) and Eastern Broadcasting Co (EBC, 東森電視) to broadcast news designed to negatively affect the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of the Jan. 11 elections.
Commenting on an investigation by the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) into the news channels, Han wrote on Facebook: “Does the NCC work for the public or work for the DPP?”
“Are you the NCC, or the zangxixi (髒兮兮),” he wrote, using Chinese characters meaning “unclean” that sound like “NCC.”
Two hashtags he added to the post read “Clearly explain what information you have” and “green terror,” an apparent play on “White Terror.”
Describing the case as an incident of “a mistaken spy,” Han campaign office deputy executive Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) wrote on Facebook: “Please tell me exactly what you have,” referring to the Presidential Office on Saturday saying that it has information on the situation.
Is Wang a fugitive attempting to escape fraud charges, or is he collaborating with multiple state governments to “intervene in Taiwan’s elections?” Sun asked.
The NCC later said that it had spoken with management personnel at EBC, CtiTV and CTV.
They have denied the allegations, it said.
The commission said it has launched an administrative investigation into the three media firms.
Earlier yesterday, the KMT at a news conference urged the Tsai administration to thoroughly investigate Wang’s allegations and offer a clear explanation to the public.
“Based on my professional judgement, I can say with certainty that this [Wang’s allegations] are falsified in an attempt to seek political asylum,” said former Military Intelligence Bureau deputy chief Wong Yen-ching (翁衍慶), who has worked in intelligence for 35 years.
Wang’s claim that he worked in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and that he reported to two supervisors at the same time contradict basic principles of espionage, Wong said.
Spies are assigned tasks in one location at a time and will not report to multiple supervisors simultaneously, he said.
Moreover, Wang referred to China’s intelligence bureau by a former name, appearing to have no knowledge that it has been renamed, he said.
If Wang had valuable information to provide, the Australian government would protect the information by attempting to prevent him from giving interviews, Wong said.
As Canberra apparently does not trust him, Wang must have spoken to the media in an attempt to avoid being deported back to China, he said.
Separately, People First Party (PFP) Chairman and presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) said that the Tsai administration has a responsibility to explain whether Chinese spies have infiltrated the nation and are attempting to influence the elections.
“She is responsible for national security issues. Surely, our national security officials should know if such a person entered the nation,” Soong said. “Surely the Financial Supervisory Commission should investigate whether there are indeed Chinese funds being used to interfere in our elections and National Immigration Agency records should document when they arrived.”
“The ruling party and its legislative caucus should not pull the trigger because they saw a shadow,” he said.
Referring to a DPP caucus anti-infiltration bill that it unveiled yesterday, he said: “They should show that they form a responsible government and leave people to make up their minds on the kind of government they want.”
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