The nation’s high-tech sector is under serious threat of industrial espionage as Chinese intelligence operatives target local companies for infiltration and collection of proprietary information, National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Yang Kuo-chiang (楊國強) told legislators yesterday.
Yang made the remarks during a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting.
New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said he has grave concerns over Chinese espionage operations, because there have been numerous cases involving Chinese spies luring members of the nation’s armed forces into leaking classified military information.
“In addition to our military, which Taiwanese industries have been most seriously affected by Chinese spy infiltration?” Lim asked. “I would like to know, because I want these businesses to be alert to this danger so they can be more careful when hiring new workers.”
Yang said that the semiconductor and other tech sectors are the most likely targets.
Lim said that these sectors are key to the nation’s economy, and “yet President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wants to open up the nation’s technology sector for investment by Chinese business. This is just absurd.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said that Yang and the bureau should block bids by Chinese investors and companies to buy out Taiwanese tech businesses.
Wang was referring to the Investment Commission, which is tasked with the review, assessment and monitoring of foreign investment, and where the bureau has a representative seat.
He said the semiconductor sector is a pillar of the nation’s economy and the bureau should veto investment applications from China.
“Taiwan is a leader in IC design and we must not allow know-how and proprietary technology to be taken over by China. It is well-known that most large Chinese businesses are backed by financial capital from the Chinese government,” Wang said.
“So this is a national security issue and a serious threat to Taiwan’s economic development. Therefore, the NSB must not permit Chinese investment in the IC sector,” he added.
DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) also asked Yang about the potential impact on cross-strait ties if China is not satisfied with president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration speech on May 20.
Yang said Beijing might shut down existing negotiation channels, prohibit Chinese tourists from visiting Taiwan, or take diplomatic action if it is unhappy with Tsai’s speech, Yang said.
The president would have to work with other senior government officials to make a response should China take any of the above three actions against Taiwan, Yang said.
Additional reporting by CNA
‘GOOD SIGN’: Thanks to public efforts, the number of COVID-19 cases is on a downward trend, the minister of health said, but told people not to let their guard down The COVID-19 situation appears to be relatively stable and on a downward trend, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, as he reported 185 domestic COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. “This seems to be a relatively good sign,” Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a daily news briefing. In Taipei and New Taipei City, the overall situation seems to be heading in a good direction, he added. He attributed it to public efforts to control the spread of the virus, but warned people against letting their guard down. Of the new local cases, 83 are males and
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
The EU is set to lift travel restrictions for US and Taiwanese residents as soon as this week, in the latest step toward a return to normal, despite concerns over the spread of potentially dangerous COVID-19 variants. Portugal, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, proposed adding Taiwan, the US, Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Serbia to a so-called “white list” of countries from which non-essential travel to the bloc is allowed, a diplomat familiar with the matter said. Assuming no objections, EU government envoys in Brussels would today approve the expanded
‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’: The US is donating the shots without any political or economic conditions, and with the singular aim of saving lives, a senior US official said The US was yesterday to ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the nation. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” had initially promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as US President Joe Biden’s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million US-made shots around the world. The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine would leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan’s national carrier, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), early