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Taiwan's intelligence services should work with other countries

ROC Central News Agency

2012/03/10 17:02:44

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Taiwan's intelligence networks must seek to work with neighboring countries on common interests, a goal that could be achieved through an information-sharing mechanism and a process that could help the country maximize its strategic value, the head of the National Security Bureau (NSB) said in a recent interview.

Tsai De-sheng made the remarks during a recent interview with CNA, in which he said no country can build a complete network of intelligence gathering on its own.

For the time being, South China Sea issues are a focus of countries in the region and Taiwan can use its geographic and linguistic advantages to convince those countries that "cooperating with us would be in their interests," Tsai said.

On the nature of his trade, Tsai said the most important aspect of intelligence gathering is to gain access to "insider information" -- which can be seen as "core intelligence" on which to make judgements about the target country's real circumstances.

"Without this core intelligence, you cannot take the initiative, as you cannot get hold of the target country's real situation," he said.

He used Chinese top leaders' views about Taiwan and cross-Taiwan Strait relations to explain what he meant by "core intelligence."

"Core intelligence" (about the Chinese leadership's views of Taiwan) cannot be obtained through an analysis of media reports, as the Chinese media can be fed with various sorts of "official comments or statements," Tsai said.

Such intelligence can only be acquired through long-time efforts by security agents using their moles and contacts, according to Tsai.

He said core intelligence is the "ultimate value" for a country's intelligence, but added that it is increasingly difficult to obtain such information. "When existing methods cannot achieve the goal, we must use new technology to make up for the shortfall," he said.

Tsai's long-time service at the NSB has seen cross-strait relations going from tension to peace. Now, he said, he finds his priority shifted to reallocating resources.

"We used to get intelligence about mainland China at considerably low cost, which is no longer possible as China's economy has grown rapidly," he said.

"That's why we must readjust the uses of available resources to achieve our ends," he said.

(By Chen Pei-huang and S.C. Chang)


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