Suspected Chinese spy Liao Hsien-ping (廖憲平), a former Taiwanese spy stationed in the Philippines, was arrested by special agents from the Bureau of Investigation late Tuesday night and detained after a Taoyuan court approved a request by prosecutors. \nA bureau press release said that Liao, 60, had served as a special agent for the Military Intelligence Agency since graduation. \nHe was stationed in Manila until he was forced to retire because of involvement in fraud. He was convicted over the matter in 1995. After serving two years in a Philippine jail, Chinese security agents bailed him out and hired him as an agent. He went to Fujian Province for training, then moved back to Taiwan in 2000. \n"He has been working as a cab driver, but he was actually collecting information for the Chinese authorities," a press release read. "His main job was to collect and tabulate information on Falun Gong members and their families in Taiwan." \nThe bureau's investigation showed that many Falun Gong members could not return to or enter China, Hong Kong or Macau because local authorities had received information from Liao and had placed them on a list of people to be refused entry. \nThe press release also mentioned that pro-Taiwan Hong Kong Legislator Liu Hui-ching (劉慧卿) was targeted by China because of Liao's work. \nIn addition to collecting information on his own accord, bureau agents said they discovered that two of Liao's former colleagues, retired Colonel Chang Tzu-hsin (張祖馨), and an employee at the National Police Agency's Immigration Office, Sung Wan-ling (宋婉玲), were involved in gathering information. \nTaoyuan prosecutors also summoned them, with Chang and Sung admitting to helping Liao with his work. But prosecutors decided to release them after questioning. \nAccording to the Taoyuan District Prosecutor's Office, the case was not serious enough to constitute a threat to the national security, but did qualify as an offense under the Criminal Code. \nProsecutors said Liao had received at least NT$1.7 million from the Chinese authorities for his information.
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: As China attempted to promote its national image through humanitarian aid, its targets include New Southbound Policy countries, an expert said China’s “vaccine diplomacy,” which has become central to its foreign policy this year, might hamper Taiwan’s efforts to build relations with developing countries, an expert said. “China, as one of the few countries other than the United Kingdom and the United States to have produced a COVID-19 vaccine, will certainly use that as a diplomatic tool,” said Kung Shan-son (龔祥生), an assistant research fellow at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research. Beijing’s major goals in its “vaccine diplomacy” are to promote its national image through humanitarian aid and to solidify its relations with countries that are included in its
A Tainan taxi driver is the Taiwanese with the longest name, after he last month changed it so that it now contains 25 characters, the Anping District Household Registration Office said. The 47-year-old man, formerly known as Huang Hsin-hsiang (黃鑫翔), applied for the name change on Feb. 26, in the hope that it would bring him good luck. His new name starts with Huang Da-lan (黃大嵐) and adds another 22 characters, meaning “Huang Da-lan is the blessed darling and sweetheart of the god of joy, god of wealth, god of misfortune, god of Earth and all the gods,” it said. With
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center