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ROC Central News Agency

2005-08-10 22:28:45

    Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) A reporter with the Singapore-based Straits Times who has been in custody in China and is charged with spying for Taiwan attended seminars in Taiwan at the Foundation on International and Cross-strait Studies, the foundation admitted Wednesday.

    A statement released by the foundation said that Ching Cheong attended its seminars as an expert on Chinese affairs.

    As a think tank registered with the Ministry of Education, the foundation said it often exchanges views with experts on Chinese and international affairs, offers advice and undertakes studies after being commissioned to do so by clients.

    This is why Ching was invited to take part in its seminars, the foundation said.

    The statement neither confirmed nor denied a Tuesday news report out of Hong Kong that alleged that Ching wrote articles for the foundation's periodicals and that the foundation is closely related to the National Security Bureau (NSB) . The report also said that Ching was paid well for his services.

    Ching was the Straits Times' Beijing correspondent and was arrested by Chinese authorities in April. He had not been charged until Beijing said on Aug. 5 that he was a spy for Taiwan.

    Beijing's Xinhua new agency said on that day that Ching confessed to having gathered information for Taiwan's NSB since 2000 under the alias of Chen Chun-yuan and that his trial is pending.

(By Maubo Chang)


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