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Two retired officers indicted for espionage

ROC Central News Agency

2013/10/17 20:18:39

Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) Two retired military officers were indicted Thursday for allegedly helping China develop an espionage network in Taiwan.

Chien Ching-kuo, who retired from the Navy in 2009, and Lu Chun- chun, who served at the military's Missile Command Center until 2005, were charged with violating Taiwan's National Security Act and Anti-Corruption Act.

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office said in the indictment that Lu pursued a business career in China after his retirement from military service.

He is alleged to have made friends with government officials in the city of Xiamen before being recruited by Chinese intelligence.

In May 2009, Lu invited Chien on an expenses-paid trip to the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where Chien met with Chinese intelligence personnel, the indictment said.

Chinese intelligence allegedly asked Chien about the situation in Taiwan's military and paid US$1,000 and 2,000 Chinese yuan (US$382) as travel subsidies.

The indictment continued that following their return, the duo invited Chang Chih-hsin, then-chief officer of political warfare at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Office, and his wife on a trip to Cebu, a Philippine tourism destination, free of charge.

Chang later agreed to help absorb military officers in active service to gather intelligence for China and arrange for overseas trips for them, according to the indictment. He is suspected of having received US$2,000 as a reward during the Cebu trip.

Chang retired in 2012 and the Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung Branch is still dealing with his espionage case.

Chien also stands accused of having invited a division chief at the Ministry of National Defense, identified only by his family name Hsu, to dine at a Taipei restaurant in September 2011 in an attempt to convince him to spy for China.

Hsu, a one-star general, rejected the offer, but Hsu's wife and her sister accepted an invitation from Chien to a fully paid trip to Xiamen later that year, the indictment said. The Kaohsiung High Prosecutors Office is looking into the case.

Although relations across the Taiwan Strait have improved over the past five years, China has not renounced the use of force against Taiwan, and it continues to actively spy on Taiwan's defense deployment, often by utilizing active or retired officers in Taiwan's military.

In July 2011, a Taiwanese Army general lured into spying for China through a honey trap scheme was sentenced to life in prison in one of the country's most serious spying cases in decades.

(By Chen Chao-fu and Sofia Wu)
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