Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) yesterday said he has full confidence in the military’s counterespionage capabilities in response to a foreign media report that Chinese spies had infiltrated the nation’s military to steal defense technologies and plans.
“The nation’s armed forces have comprehensive protective measures in place to guard against Chinese espionage,” Chiu told reporters on the sidelines of a legislative session.
The military’s counterintelligence efforts include training to encourage military personnel to report initial contact with suspected spies and reward those who do so, Chiu said.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The Ministry of National Defense investigates reports of suspected espionage, he said, adding that the measures have proven successful over the years.
Chiu’s comments came after a Reuters special feature, published on Monday, described several espionage cases and “how Beijing allegedly sought out commanders in Taiwan’s military and induced them to become spies.”
Chinese officials were also able to “extract details of high-tech weapons and gain insights into defense planning” through personnel from Taiwan’s military over the past 10 years, the report said.
Citing a Reuters review of court records and reports from Taiwan’s official news agencies, the report said that in the past decade, at least 21 serving or retired Taiwanese officers with the rank of captain or above have been convicted of spying for China.
At least nine other serving or retired members of the armed forces are currently on trial or being investigated on suspicion of having had contact with spies from China, the report said.
The ministry on Tuesday said that no confidential military intelligence had been leaked in these cases, as all of the interactions had been detected in the early stages.
Chiu attended yesterday’s legislative session to brief lawmakers on the military’s response measures amid increasing military coercion from Beijing.
In his report, Chiu said Chinese People’s Liberation Army aircraft have made more than 940 incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone since January.
In response, Taiwan’s military has continued to bolster its defense capabilities and enhance its weapons’ range, precision and mobility, based on the nation’s asymmetrical warfare plan, the report said.
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