Measures have been taken to minimize damage from Chinese espionage, the Ministry of National Defense said on Monday, in response to an alleged plan to deliver a Chinook helicopter to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
The Chinese-language CTWANT magazine earlier in the day reported that a lieutenant colonel surnamed Hsieh (謝) was approached by Chinese officers with an offer to evacuate his family to Thailand in the event of a cross-strait conflict.
In exchange, Hsieh was asked to fly a CH-47F Chinook helicopter to a Chinese aircraft carrier in the Taiwan Strait, the magazine said.
PHoto: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Hsieh initially declined, but accepted after he was also offered half the cost of the helicopter at US$15 million, it said.
Investigators in April uncovered the spy ring and have arrested Hsieh and others involved, it added.
The High Prosecutors’ Office earlier this year announced it was investigating a lieutenant colonel surnamed Hsieh of the 601st Aviation Brigade and a businessman also surnamed Hsieh (謝) for allegedly leaking defense secrets to Chinese spies.
Asked about the report, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) told reporters that Beijing’s attempts to lure Taiwanese has had a “considerable impact.”
Whenever such a case occurs, the military would be forthcoming with information and work with the courts while carrying out damage control, he said.
A ministry spokesperson separately said that the ministry and national security agencies have already conducted an internal investigation and forwarded information to the judiciary.
China uses a variety of espionage methods, but the military has strengthened its response measures, it said, adding that most of the recently uncovered cases were reported by officers themselves and investigated in a timely manner.
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