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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. concerned about leaks in Taiwan espionage case: foreign minister

ROC Central News Agency

2017/05/10 17:30:54

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) The United States is concerned about whether a high-ranking Taiwan military officer under investigation for alleged espionage has leaked information about U.S.-made missile systems, Foreign Affairs Minister David Lee (李大維) said Wednesday.

Responding to questions in a hearing of the Legislative Foreign and National Defense Committee, Lee said Taiwan's findings in the investigation will be passed on to the U.S.

"The United States is gravely concerned about intelligence leaks in the case," he said, addressing questions on whether the case will affect U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and relations between the two countries.

At the center of the case is Maj. Gen. Hsieh Chia-kang (謝嘉康), former head of Taiwan's Air Defense Missile Command, who has been suspected of breaching national security.

Hsieh allegedly traveled several times to third countries such as Thailand and Malaysia to meet with unidentified Chinese people.

In March, he was transferred to the post of deputy head of the Matsu Defense Command.

Hsieh's residence in Pingtung was searched on Tuesday and the case was turned over to the Ciaotou District Prosecutors Office in Kaohsiung for further investigation.

He was later released on bail of NT$100,000 (US$3,300) but was barred from leaving the country.

Hsieh had served at the Air Defense Missile Command since his graduation from the R.O.C. Military Academy in 1987 and is said to be well versed on the nation's major missile systems and their deployment.

During that time, Taiwan deployed its indigenous Hsiung Feng III cruise missiles and U.S.-supplied PAC-3 missiles.

Last year, Taiwan sent a dozen military officers to the U.S. to participate in exercises involving the PAC-3s, according to sources.

At Tuesday's legislative hearing, Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Lin Cheng-yi (林正義) said that China's penetration has not been confined to the aspects of Taiwan's military and national defense, but has become "more complex and diverse."

Due to the frequent exchanges between people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in recent years, there are now many ways to penetrate the fabric of the society, Lin said, adding that the establishment of organizations sympathetic to China was one example.

"It is necessary to be on guard and set up proper means of prevention," he said.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Lilian Wu)
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