Field Officer Detained in Growing Investigation Into Chinese Spy Ring
Taiwanese Crackdown on Chinese Espionage Continues
In an ongoing investigation into an alleged espionage ring, prosecutors in Taiwan detained another field officer on Wednesday. The officer surnamed Cheng, is suspected of spying for China, amplifying concerns about the infiltration of Taiwan's military by Chinese intelligence. This latest development follows the indictment of a retired Air Force captain and six active military officers earlier this year in the same espionage case.
Cheng is accused of providing confidential information to a retired captain surnamed Liu, as reported by the Taiwan High Court branch in Kaohsiung. The growing number of suspects, in this case, underscores the serious challenges faced by Taiwan in securing its national defense against espionage.
The case began to unravel in April when Liu, along with six alleged accomplices, was charged with violating the Classified National Security Information Protection Act. Prosecutors delved into Liu's activities, shedding light on a concerning series of events.
According to the official investigation, Liu began doing business in China after retiring from Taiwan's Air Force in 2013. During this period, he was recruited by Chinese intelligence to serve as a spy. Leveraging his extensive personnel connections within the military, Liu reportedly helped recruit active military officers in Taiwan's Navy and Air Force to engage in spying activities on behalf of China.
Prosecutors allege that Liu's recruitment efforts brought at least six officers into his spy ring. He received payments for his espionage activities ranging from NT$200,000 (US$6,436) to NT$700,000. These payments were funneled through a shell company Liu had established, making it challenging to trace the source of these "rewards."
In addition to the payments made for recruiting officers, Liu was given bonuses of between NT$30,000 and NT$100,000 for supplying information on Taiwan's military to his Chinese benefactors.
This showcases the complex web of espionage activities targeting Taiwan's military. It also highlights the very real threat that Taiwan faces from Chinese intelligence efforts. Taiwan's strategic position and ongoing political tensions with China make it a significant target for espionage activities.