The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday confirmed that an admiral has been questioned over his alleged involvement in what could be one of the nation’s most serious espionage cases.
Ministry spokesman Major-General David Lo (羅紹和) confirmed reports that an has come under investigation, but would not provide further details. Media reported that Admiral Hsu Chung-hua (徐中華), commander of the 146th Attack Squadron based in Magong, Penghu, had been transferred from his position.
Chengkung-class frigates, which are in the process of being armed with the Hsiung Feng III supersonic “carrier killer” anti-ship missile, are among the vessels comprising the 146th, which would play a primary role countering the Chinese navy in the event of hostilities in the Taiwan Strait.
The investigation is believed to be linked to the arrest in September of three senior military officers suspected of leaking secrets to China, one of the most serious breaches in Taiwan’s history.
One of the officers arrested in the raid was Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫), formerly a commander in charge of political warfare at the navy’s meteorology and oceanography office, which keeps highly classified maps and charts.
Military experts say China could learn more about the operation of Taiwan’s submarines if it obtained such information.
The latest probe has spurred concerns that despite eased tensions, China has not reduced its hostility toward Taiwan.
“As more ranking officers have been involved in such espionage cases over the last few years, we are afraid that China has infiltrated various levels of the military,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) told reporters.
In related developments, the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) under the State Oceanic Administration on Saturday commissioned the Haijian 8002, China’s first kiloton-class civilian surveillance ship, which will join the CMS fleet in charge of patrolling and enforcing China’s sovereignty rights in the East China Sea, which includes the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.
The ship can travel 5,000 nautical miles (9,260km) without refueling and, according to reports, is equipped with high-speed law-enforcement boats, two water cannons and a 152-decibel directional warning system strong enough to shatter glass at a distance of 3km.
Taiwanese and Japanese coast guard vessels have engaged in water cannon battles in waters close to the Diaoyutais in recent months.
The Haijian’s mapping system is reportedly connected to the Beidou satellite-based navigation system.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
Seven senior faculty members, including the principal, of a high school in Taichung were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Friday, pending an investigation by the Taichung Education Bureau into alleged bullying and abuse that led to the suicide of a student last month. The city’s education officials were too slow to suspend those involved, the student’s father told a news conference on Wednesday, at which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and members of the Humanistic Education Foundation were also present. The boy had been a good student and a high achiever during elementary and junior-high, and had
Taiwan would have established formal relations with Argentina long ago if not for China’s interference, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui told US-based Spanish-language online news outlet Infobae in an interview published on Tuesday. Beijing has left behind a string of unfulfilled promises in Latin America, including pledges to build the Grand Nicaragua Canal and airports, docks, ports and industrial zones in El Salvador, he said. Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other countries enjoy pragmatic and improving relations with Taiwan based on cooperation on the economy, culture, technology and science, he said. While Taiwan is “happy to live and let live,”
TASK FORCE DISPATCHED: MOFA said it would assist state employees with repatriation or relocation to other ally nations in the region after Tegucigalpa severed ties The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday ordered Honduras to vacate its embassy in Taiwan within 30 days of Sunday after Tegucigalpa made a similar demand of Taiwan. Taipei on Monday announced that it had cut ties with Honduras after the Central American nation earlier said in a statement that it had established ties with Beijing and ended its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Following the announcements, Honduran Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Garcia spoke on Honduran television saying that Taiwan would be required to vacate its embassy in the Honduran capital. In Taipei, MOFA later told a news conference that “according