Taiwan’s representative office in Australia on Tuesday accused the “repressive totalitarian security apparatus” in China of attempting to “smear” Taiwan by claiming that an Australian citizen arrested in Beijing five years ago was spying for Taipei.
Australian newspapers on Tuesday reported that James Sun, an Australian citizen of Chinese origin who worked for an agency recruiting foreign students to Australia, was detained by Chinese security officials in January 2006 on suspicion of spying for Taiwan.
During his trial, Sun was alleged to have confessed to “seducing” Yang Delong, an acquaintance in the Chinese air force, into copying more than 1,000 classified documents and smuggling them out to be passed on to Taiwanese intelligence.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Australia denied Taiwan had anything to do with Sun and rejected claims that it may have been recruiting agents from within the Chinese-Australian community.
The “allegation is a sheer fabrication concocted by the repressive totalitarian security apparatus to smear Taiwan,” TECO said in a statement on Tuesday. “The operations of the TECO in Australia have always been transparent, law abiding and conducive to the righteous cause of safeguarding rule of law, freedom of expression and human rights.”
Sun is serving a life sentence at Beijing Prison No. 2. His wife denies Sun had any contact with Taiwanese and says her husband’s confession was obtained under duress.
The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday reported that Chinese records of Sun’s confession showed him admitting to being recruited by the Military Intelligence Bureau by his employer, Beijing Wanjia Cultural Exchange Co.
Chinese prosecutors allege Sun, who they claim went by the code name Li Qiang, was paid 500,000 yuan (US$76,000).
“My target was … information of the China mainland with regard to the fields of political and military situation,” the Herald quoted Sun as reportedly telling investigators.
“In September 2002 I came back to China to meet my friend Yang Delong … I persuaded him into providing military information to me by the pretext that Taiwan’s money is easy to get,” the records showed.
The statement alleges Sun confessed to providing Yang with a digital camera, memory card, notebook computer, encryption software and other material and to teaching him how to encrypt documents, the Herald reported.
Relatives of Yang, who was also taken into custody and whose statement was used to incriminate Sun, claim that by the time he showed up in court he had lost all his teeth, likely the result of harsh interrogation techniques.
His whereabouts are unknown, though as a serving officer, he is likely to have received the death penalty, the paper said.
LAND ALERT UNCERTAIN: The CWB was waiting to observe how In-Fa shifts as it moves north to determine when to issue a land alert, a forecaster at the bureau said Residents of northern Taiwan should brace for heavy rain today and tomorrow as Typhoon In-Fa approaches the northeast, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. A land alert for the typhoon would be issued depending on the angle at which it moves north today, the bureau said. The bureau on Wednesday issued a sea alert for the typhoon, which applies to ships operating off the nation’s northern, northeastern and southeastern coasts. As of 8:30pm yesterday, In-Fa’s center was 470km southeast of Taipei, moving northwest at 6kph. It was carrying maximum sustained winds of 180kph, and had a radius of 200km. The typhoon was moving
‘BREAKTHROUGH’: All countries should be free to pursue closer ties with Taiwan, a leading democracy, a major economy, and a force for good in the world, the AIT said Taiwan is to establish a “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania,” the first office in Europe to be called Taiwanese, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday. “It is an important diplomatic breakthrough,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wrote on Facebook, thanking diplomatic personnel for the significant achievement. To expand the nation’s relations with central and eastern Europe, especially with Baltic nations, the government decided to establish the office in Vilnius, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told an online news conference. The plan signals progress in Taiwan-Europe relations, as it has been 18 years since the nation last opened an office on the
TARGET RAISED: The CECC said vaccination coverage has reached 24.35%, while Premier Su Tseng-chang said the government hopes for 30% by the end of July The government has signed a contract to buy an additional 36 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, 1 million of which are to be delivered in the fourth quarter, the Executive Yuan announced yesterday, as it updated its vaccination target to 30 percent coverage by the end of the month. The two-year deal with the US company covers “prime series” vaccines and future booster shots to protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) quoted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as saying during an Executive Yuan meeting in Taipei. In the two weeks since vaccine registration opened, more than 9.8
STAY VIGILANT: Although a level 2 alert would raise the limit on indoor gatherings to 50, people should still wear masks and practice social distancing, the center said A nationwide COVID-19 alert is to be lowered from level 3 to 2 on Tuesday, but strict border controls would remain, the government said yesterday. The level 3 alert in place since May 19 is to end on Monday, with a level 2 alert in place from Tuesday until Aug. 9, the Executive Yuan said. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a news conference in Taipei that over the next two weeks, people should still wear masks at all times outdoors, except while eating or drinking, and practice social distancing. The maximum