The National Security Bureau’s (NSB) work has become more important as cross-strait information warfare has intensified, bureau Director-General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) told lawmakers on the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday as he refuted claims by a US academic that the bureau has been infiltrated by China.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator (DPP) Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) asked Chiu about the People’s Daily’s “Letter to Taiwan’s Intelligence Agencies,” which called on Taiwanese intelligence agents to “cooperate with the motherland” and not be “hijacked” by pro-independence factions.
The letter in the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper followed China Central Television (CCTV) reports earlier this month about “several hundred cases” of Taiwan’s espionage activities uncovered through Beijing’s “Thunder 2020” operation.
Chiu told lawmakers that the bureau would not respond publicly to the letter, which was the usual Chinese mix of civil and military intimidation tactics.
Asked about former US diplomat and China expert Charles Freeman’s statement that the bureau had been infiltrated from top to bottom by China, Chiu said the claim was completely false.
“No matter who it is, they must not underestimate the NSB,” he said.
The bureau has instructed its staff about appropriate conduct, and Taiwan does not need to dance to China’s tune on matters that do not concern it, Chiu later told reporters.
Asked by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator William Tseng (曾銘宗) about the possibility of cross-strait war in the near future, Chiu said that it was higher than normal and the bureau was considering all scenarios.
Pressed by Tseng about China applying economic or trade pressure rather than military force against Taiwan, Chiu said that it was a possibility, as China would use any means to harm Taiwan.
He would not make a prediction, he said.
As for former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Chao Chien-min’s (趙建民) claim that the Taiwan Strait is already in a state of quasi-war, Chiu said that tensions are obvious and the nation’s military and intelligence communities are paying close attention.
However, the public should not worry, as any Chinese movements would be closely followed by the bureau, he said.
When China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) was asked the same question on Wednesday in Beijing, she wordlessly flipped through her notes for 30 seconds before asking reporters to move on to the next question.
The incident shows that CCP spokespeople “are all robots without brains of their own,” DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
“Without authorization or information from their superiors, they do not know how to speak,” he said.
“This ‘glitch’ has shown the world that CCP leadership has not entered ‘state of quasi-war’ into its Q&A database, let alone ‘state of war,’” he added.
Additional reporting by Aaron Tu
‘DISAPPOINTED’: It is time to change the nation’s name to ‘Taiwan,’ as there is solid support for Taipei in Washington, independence advocates said at a protest Taiwan independence advocates at a rally in Taipei yesterday demanded that the government take action to assert national sovereignty and engage in international diplomacy by using the name “Taiwan.” Led by Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵), members of pro-independence groups gathered outside the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in the wake of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remark last week that “Taiwan has not been a part of China.” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the DPP government must seize this opportunity to change the nation’s name to “Taiwan,” discard the “Republic of China”(ROC) title and establish diplomatic
A Taichung-based saxophone teacher was yesterday sentenced to 18 years in jail, for baiting girls to send him nude photographs and videos of themselves. The Taichung District Court found Ku Cheng-en (顧承恩), 32, guilty of contravening the Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act (兒童及少年性剝削防制條例), in 48 cases, involving 32 girls aged below 16. Prosecutors said that it began investigating the case after a girl in January last year filed a complaint against Ku, who is also a licensed street musician, suspecting that he might own pornographic material of underaged girls. Searching his premises, police found explicit photos and videos of 48 girls
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) last night said that it had no comment about reports that a senior US Navy officer had arrived in Taipei for a visit. Several media outlets reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, director of intelligence of the US Indo-Pacific Command, arrived at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on a special charter flight at about 7pm. The schedule of a “senior US official” in Taiwan would not be made public, the ministry said in a news release, without confirming the visit or the official’s identity. Interactions and exchanges between Taiwan and the US are common, and visits