When China Innovation Investment Ltd executive director Xiang Xin (向心) and his wife, acting director Kung Ching (龔青), were detained by authorities in Taiwan on Nov. 24 after self-professed Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang (王立強) accused them of being Chinese intelligence officers, Beijing reacted strangely by only accusing Wang of being a convicted fraudster without bad-mouthing Xiang or Kung.
As Taiwanese authorities gradually disclosed more evidence to establish the couple’s alleged involvement in espionage, the Global Times — which is published by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the auspices of the People’s Daily newspaper — posted an exclusive article on its public Weixin account on Wednesday last week, titled “Who exactly is Xiang Xin, who is being detained by Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party administration?”
The article made the following accusations:
First, in 2016, Xiang was involved in a fundraising scam committed by a 10 billion yuan (US$1.42 billion) wealth management company in China, placing him in a difficult situation and causing him great losses.
Second, from 2013 to last year, he was involved in many civil lawsuits, most of which were contract disputes.
When the Wang espionage case broke in Australia, China took the lead in smearing the 26-year-old, calling him a fraudster with the full force of the communists, and with some help from Taiwan’s pan-blue camp, to discredit his allegations.
Beijing even released trial footage allegedly showing Wang confessing to fraud — only to be met with disbelief in Australia.
Now, it has turned its attention to Xiang, calling him an “ordinary businessman who has been involved in many fundraising scams and is burdened with lawsuits.”
On Monday, Taiwanese political commentator Paul Lin (林保華), an expert on China affairs and frequent Taipei Times contributor, wrote an article in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) to elucidate the military intelligence context of Wang’s espionage case and provide a detailed political background of Xiang and his wife.
According to Lin, if the case’s basic elements are real, “it would be the largest espionage network to be exposed since 1986, when Yu Qiangsheng (俞強聲), then-director of the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s North America Intelligence Department and Foreign Affairs Division, defected to the US.”
Compared with what China did in the past to expose Chinese spies who risked their lives for the CCP under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime, smearing Wang and Xiang is probably just the beginning. Yet, China’s reaction to a certain degree validates the success of the joint efforts of Five Eyes and Taiwan.
Yu Kung is a Taiwanese businessman operating in China.
Translated by Chang Ho-ming
Late last month, Beijing introduced changes to school curricula in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, requiring certain subjects to be taught in Mandarin rather than Mongolian. What is Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) seeking to gain from sending this message of pernicious intent? It is possible that he is attempting cultural genocide in Inner Mongolia, but does Xi also have the same plan for the democratic, independent nation of Mongolia? The controversy emerged with the announcement by the Inner Mongolia Education Bureau on Aug. 26 that first-grade elementary-school and junior-high students would in certain subjects start learning with Chinese-language textbooks, as
There are worrying signs that China is on the brink of a major food shortage, which might trigger a strategic contest over food security and push Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), already under intense pressure, toward drastic measures, potentially spelling trouble for Taiwan and the rest of the world. China has encountered a perfect storm of disasters this year. On top of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, torrential rains have caused catastrophic flooding in the Yangtze River basin, China’s largest agricultural region. Floodwaters are estimated to have already destroyed the crops on 6 million hectares of farmland. The situation has been
In 1955, US general Benjamin Davis Jr, then-commander of the US’ 13th Air Force, drew a maritime demarcation line in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, known as the median line. Under pressure from the US, Taiwan and China entered into a tacit agreement not to cross the line. On July 9, 1999, then-president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) described cross-strait relations as a “special state-to-state” relationship. In response, Beijing dispatched People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft into the Taiwan Strait, crossing the median line for the first time since 1955. The PLA has begun to regularly traverse the line. On Sept. 18 and 19, it
Midday in Manhattan on Wednesday, September 16, was sunny and mild. Even with the pandemic’s “social distancing” it was a perfect day for “al fresco” dining with linen tablecloths and sidewalk potted palms outside one of New York City’s elegant restaurants. Two members of the press, outfitted with digital SLR cameras and voice recorders, were dispatched by The Associated Press to cover a rare outdoor diplomatic meeting on one of these New York streets. American diplomat Kelly Craft, Chief of the United States Mission to the United Nations, lunched in the open air with Taiwan’s ambassador-ranked representative in New York, James