Chang Hsien-yi’s defection ‘a betrayal’

By Lu Yi-hsuan, Lo Tien-pin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Jan 11, 2017 - Page 3

Chang Hsien-yi’s (張憲義) defection to the US in 1988 resulted in a lack of significant weapons available to the national defense force as a deterrent, and betrayal of one’s nation should be seen for what it is, former president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) national security team member Chang Jung-feng (張榮豐) said.

Former Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) nuclear division deputy director Chang Hsien-yi on Monday spoke to reporters on the telephone about the launch of his book, Nuclear bomb! Spy? CIA: Record of an Interview with Chang Hsien-yi, saying he was motivated by fears that his research into nuclear weapons would be used by “politically ambitious” people who would harm Taiwan.

Chang Hsien-yi said that his actions were in line with former president Chiang Ching-kuo’s (蔣經國) policy of “retaining nuclear capability, but not actively manufacturing” nuclear weapons and he could, at most, be accused of betraying then-minister of national defense Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村).

Chang Jung-feng was dismissive of Chang Hsien-yi’s comments, saying that Chang Hsien-yi, as a colonel, had betrayed his nation and as a result of his defection directly contributed to Taiwan’s lack of national defense options.

In regards to Chang Hsien-yi’s claims that his defection was a “win-win” scenario for Taiwan and the US, Chang Jung-feng said the excuse was flimsy at best, as such decisions were not Chang Hsien-yi’s responsibility.

Chang Jung-feng also dismissed claims made in the book that Taiwan’s goal of creating a “nuclear-free homeland” was in part due to Chang Hsien-yi’s defection.

The former security adviser also criticized those who wrote the foreword for Chang Hsien-yi’s book, which he said were primarily supporters of Taiwanese independence.

“If these people think that Chang Hsien-yi has not betrayed his country, then they are not right in the head,” Chang Jung-feng said, adding that if these same people think that Chang Hsien-yi is a traitor, then they should not have written a foreword for him.

“It’s a matter of right and wrong,” Chang Jung-feng said.

DPP Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said that he had written the foreword for the book as it offered a chance for others to piece together parts of history, adding that from the vantage point of Taiwanese, Chang Hsien-yi “has indeed been a traitor.”

The insight of high-end technology researchers is the equivalent of a blueprint for national development, and too many are seeking to rationalize their actions for going to China, Lo said, adding that he has taken a more severe view on the matter due to his feelings that loyalty to the nation is the most basic of requirements.