China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday.
The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media.
Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing.
Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying.
CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even before they have appeared in court — a practice that has long been condemned by lawyers and rights organizations as forcing confessions under duress.
Shih said in the interview that he had passed information from a Chinese think tank to Taiwanese authorities in exchange for money, and that he hoped his experience would serve as a “warning” to others in Taiwan.
TAO spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) yesterday said that a court in Anhui Province had sentenced Shih to four years in prison, a year after China first said it was investigating Shih on national security grounds.
China “fully safeguarded” Shih’s rights during the hearing, Zhu said.
At least two other Taiwanese are being held on national security grounds in China: academic Tsai Chin-shu (蔡金樹) and democracy advocate Lee Meng-chu (李孟居).
Zhu also said that China was in the process of compiling a watch list of Taiwan independence supporters, without providing any details.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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