Wednesday’s indictment of New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠) and other party members on charges of organizing a spy network and violating national security laws highlights the broadening scope of China’s espionage operations and “united front” work tactics against Taiwan, political commentator Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said yesterday.
Two Chinese government agencies appear to have been directing the spying, intelligence gathering and recruitment of favorable targets, Yang said: China’s Taiwan Affairs Office’s (TAO) Political Party Bureau and the Shanghai Liaison Bureau of the Political Work Department of the Chinese Central Military Commission, an important body of the Chinese Communist Party.
It is known that the TAO directs Chinese programs and policies involving Taiwan, while the liaison bureau and Central Military Commission’s work covers a broad range of fields and activities, he said.
“Much of the Chinese government’s external liaison work entails espionage and intelligence gathering, along with media and propaganda campaigns against foreign countries,” Yang said.
“Their ‘liaison work’ also includes subversion tactics, infiltration into foreign countries’ armed forces and political circles, and consolidating dissident forces that support China’s cause,” he added.
Taipei prosecutors indicted Wang and New Party youth wing executives Ho Han-ting (侯漢廷) and Lin Ming-cheng (林明正) for organizing a spy network with funding from China, while Wang’s father, Wang Chin-pu (王進步), was indicted as an accessory.
The suspects allegedly worked with convicted Chinese spy Zhou Hongxu (周泓旭), their liaison with the Chinese agencies, who directed recruitment efforts and “united front” work in Taiwan from his “Star Fire Secret Unit” (星火秘密小組), prosecutors said.
Under Zhou’s guidance and with Chinese financial assistance, Wang and his fellow party members set up the pro-unification propaganda Web site Fire News (燎原新聞網), they said.
They also started the Association of New Chinese Sons and Daughters, the Chinese Culture Rejuvenation Association — a student club at National Taiwan University — and other social and cultural organizations aimed at attracting like-minded students and young people, prosecutors said.
“Through these organizations, the defendants set up informative Web sites to promote their work, created fan pages on social media, and organized social activities and academic seminars,” the indictment said.
Prosecutors said nine retired and active military personnel were contacted to obtain classified materials and Lin was found to have provided Zhou with personal information and contact details of soldiers in the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command’s elite unit, the Airborne Special Service Company.
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
PRIDE AND FURY: Supporters of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party sang in Tainan, while Taiwan loyalists in Kaohsiung vowed to ‘protect Taiwan until death’ Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait. Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other. China’s national day is not officially marked in any
VOICING SUPPORT: The German ambassador to the US said that the country should not allow China to move goalposts to isolate Taiwan or break international law Relations with Germany continue to warm as German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group chairman Klaus-Peter Willsch, leading a six-person delegation, left Germany for a six-day visit to Taiwan yesterday. The visit is yet another move by Berlin this year in support of Taiwan. The German Bundestag in May unanimously passed a resolution to support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO as an observer. German Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach added his support for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Assembly this year. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock in August voiced support for Taiwan in light of Beijing’s military response to US
A scooter owner is under investigation for using a sticker bearing the words “Tainan City Government Police Bureau Patrol Vehicle” on his scooter. Tainan Police Department’s Yongkang Precinct said in a press release on Thursday that it received a report about a photograph of a food delivery scooter with the sticker being shared on social media. Police launched an investigation and spotted the electric scooter on Chungcheng Road in the city’s Yongkang District (永康). The scooter owner, surnamed Kao (高), said he had bought the sticker online and put it on his scooter because he thought it was fun and special, police