The National Security Bureau (NSB) yesterday acknowledged the possibility that Chinese service sector businesses could use offices set up in Taiwan for espionage if the cross-strait service trade agreement is implemented.
“As cross-strait exchanges develop further, monitoring the activities of Chinese in Taiwan and their businesses may exceed the NSB’s work capacity in the future and pose a challenge for national security,” National Security Bureau Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) told a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday.
The bureau said that if the pact’s effects see it stretched too thin, an influx of Chinese service sector workers could be a national security risk, but added that it is working on a regulatory mechanism targeting “major, specific” individuals and organizations that could pose a threat to Taiwan.
The bureau also said it has conducted an item-by-item review of security-related issues in the 64 domestic service sectors that would be opened up to Chinese investment and competition.
“We plan to carry out more risk management studies, since the continuing expansion of cross-strait ties could compromise national security and create additional risk. My stance is that we carry out extensive risk analyses as we deepen exchanges with China,” Tsai said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) said the bureau is concerned about the effects the cross-strait trade deal may have on Taiwan’s security, but has refrained from saying so for fear of contradicting President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
At yesterday’s meeting, Chiu asked if government officials know who owns the SF Express (順豐快遞) delivery service, which has started operating in Taiwan, and Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭) responded that the company is funded solely by a Hong Kong citizen.
Chiu replied that SF Express is owned by Wang Wei (王衛), who has applied for Chinese citizenship and became a Shenzhen City resident in 2012.
She added that in August last year, two state-run Chinese firms became shareholders in SF Express, effectively making the delivery company a Beijing-funded enterprise.
Cho insisted that the head of SF Express’ Taiwan branch is Wang’s wife, who is a Hong Kong citizen, to which Chiu said: “This is exactly what the public is worried about: China-funded businesses entering Taiwan disguised as Hong Kong-funded or domestic firms, while the government either turns a blind eye to or fails to control them.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a report that the NSB on April 11 joined the Investment Commission responsible for reviewing foreign investment projects.
The change allows NSB officials to participate in the review of all foreign investments, whereas before, this was the case only when Chinese investors were involved or when the bureau’s participation was deemed necessary, Cho said.
TAIWAN PROTECTION MEASURE: US Army General Charles Flynn would not say where in the Asia-Pacific the missiles would be sent, but only that they would arrive in 2024 The US is to send medium-range missiles including the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk to the Asia-Pacific next year to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan, US military news Web site Defense One reported. The report cited comments US Army General Charles Flynn made during the annual Halifax International Security Forum on Nov. 19. “We have tested them and we have a battery or two of them today,” Flynn was quoted as saying. “In 24. We intend to deploy that system in your region. I’m not going to say where and when. But I will just say that we will
UNUSUAL UPTICK: There are more flu-like illnesses in northern China than in the past 3 years, but data from Beijing showed that known pathogens are responsible Responding to an uptick in respiratory illnesses in China, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said it has instructed international airport and port quarantine centers to raise their alert levels, and plans to issue an alert to healthcare practitioners. The number of flu-like illnesses reported in northern China has been increasing for five consecutive weeks, and is higher than the same period in the past three years, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said. “According to the WHO’s latest statement, issued yesterday, information provided by Chinese government showed that the illnesses were mainly reported among children, and the illnesses were attributed
LOYALTY: The 10 active and retired soldiers betrayed the nation and its people by leaking and passing on military secrets to China, the High Prosecutors’ Office said Ten former and current military officers were yesterday indicted on charges of spying for China, including two who allegedly filmed themselves pledging loyalty to Beijing. The High Prosecutors’ Office requested life imprisonment for the suspects in light of the severity of the crime. The 10 active-duty and retired officers included members of the 601st Brigade of the Aviation Special Forces comprising attack helicopter squadrons and elite combat units in charge of defending northern Taiwan, including Taipei. The other suspects came from Huadong Defense Command, in charge of defending the eastern coast; Kinmen Defense Command, in charge of defending Kinmen and Matsu; and one
‘OPEN TO DIALOGUE’: Her alliance with Vice President William Lai is based on their commitment to preserve the nation’s freedom and democracy, Hsiao Bi-khim said Taiwan should “trust, but verify” reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) denied that Beijing plans to invade Taiwan in 2027, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) told reporters yesterday. “We anticipate and we hope that Chairman Xi Jinping was sincere when he said there was no timetable” for bringing Taiwan under control by force, said Hsiao, who earlier this week resigned as the representative to the US to join the ticket of DPP nominee, Vice President William Lai (賴清德). Borrowing a phrase from former US president Ronald Reagan — which US President Joe Biden also used after