Taiwan Strengthens Anti-Espionage Measures Following Espionage Case

After an army lieutenant colonel was arrested for allegedly gathering intelligence for China, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defence vowed to step up its anti-espionage measures.

The most recent surveillance incident occurs as military and political pressure from Beijing on the island is increasing, and ties between Taiwan and China, which claims the democracy as its territory, are at an all-time low.

In response to local media reports on a lieutenant colonel with the last name Hsieh and other individuals “who allegedly were recruited by China to gather intelligence,” the Taiwanese Ministry of Defence issued a statement on Wednesday.

The Defence Ministry issued a statement in which it mentioned Hsieh by name without confirming or denying his imprisonment, saying “The Defence Ministry condemns a small number of personnel… who committed such crimes of betraying the people and the country.”The military would “continue to strengthen counterintelligence education and enhance security vigilance in response to the Chinese Communists’ infiltration,” it stated.

No information was provided on the suspected offence.

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The declaration followed a Central News Agency story that said Hsieh had worked for the army’s Aviation and Special Forces Command in northern Taoyuan County. Central News Agency is a partially state-funded news organisation.According to authorities, he is accused of gathering intelligence and sending it to China through a middleman, according to CNA.

According to CNA, he also tried to enlist the help of active-duty and retired service members to build a surveillance network, and authorities have opened an investigation after receiving a tip.

After being questioned by prosecutors, Hsieh and the putative middleman were reportedly brought into custody, while four retired military who were also suspected of being involved were released on bail.

Since the 1949 end of a civil war between Chinese nationalists and communists, Taiwan and China have been spying on one another.

In recent years, a number of exalted Taiwanese military figures have been charged with spying for Beijing.

A retired Navy senior admiral and a former congressman were indicted in March on suspicion of attempting to create a spy network for China.

Furthermore, a retired air force major general was given a four-year suspended sentence in January for taking dinners and flights from a Hong Kong businessman who was reportedly acting on behalf of Beijing.

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