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.
HOT-SPRING RETREAT: A hotel in Japan incurred a loss of about US$1,846 after a Taiwanese man failed to show up for his reservation due to a misunderstood message A Taiwanese man who failed to show up for a hotel reservation in Japan has apologized and offered compensation, the hotel said yesterday. The man, surnamed Lee (李), reserved a room at the Yufuin Tsubaki hot-spring hotel in Oita for the Lunar New Year holiday, but failed to show up on Friday. Lee yesterday called the hotel to apologize and offered to compensate the losses caused by his failure to show up, a hotel employee surnamed Yashiro said. Lee’s wife also called on Sunday to apologize, she said. Lee had booked a two-night stay with upscale seafood and beef meals, the hotel said. His
Two Taiwanese Americans were among those killed in a mass shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles (TECO LA) said it contacted local authorities, who confirmed that two of the 11 killed in the shooting were Taiwanese Americans. “TECO LA conveys our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families, and sends our prayers to the injured for a speedy recovery,” it said in a statement. The office said it is assisting the relatives of one of the victims to travel from
A senior US senator on Monday questioned the willingness of some US allies to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) expects the US and Japan to respond in a war in the Taiwan Strait, he was “a little less confident what our other allies would do,” US Senator John Cornyn said. Australia and New Zealand have voiced support for Taiwan, but it “is a far cry from committing troops to repel an invasion,” Cornyn said during a discussion on China, Russia and the state of US military readiness at a forum hosted
Whisky connoisseurs are a rapidly growing demographic in Taiwan, driving prices ever higher as collectors vie for the most coveted editions. Although not a new pastime, whisky collection has been picking up steam in recent years. According to the Scotch Whisky Association, Taiwan was the third-largest buyer of Scotch whisky in 2021 in monetary terms. One collector, surnamed Fu (傅), said there are many types of whisky that are ripe for collecting. One that has skyrocketed in price in recent years is the Macallan 12-year-old Gran Reserva, which bears a striking purple label, said Fu, who has more than 10 years of experience as