Defense chief confident in military's counter-espionage capabilities
ROC Central News Agency
12/22/2021 03:02 PM
Taipei, Dec. 22 (CNA) Taiwan's defense minister said on Wednesday he had full confidence in the armed forces' counter-espionage capabilities in response to a foreign media report that China's spies had infiltrated the nation's military to steal defense technologies and defense plans.
"The nation's armed forces have comprehensive protective measures in place to guard against Chinese espionage," Chiu Kuo-cheng (é‚±åœ‹æ£) told reporters on the sidelines of a legislative session.
The military's counter-intelligence efforts include education campaigns to encourage and reward military personnel to report initial contact with alleged espionage attempts, Chiu said.
After receiving these reports, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) would launch investigations into these allegations, he said, adding that these measures had proven successful over the years.
Chiu's comments were made after a Reuters special feature, published Monday, described several espionage cases and "how Beijing allegedly sought out commanders in Taiwan's military and induced them to become spies."
Chinese officials were also able to "extract details of high-tech weapons and gain insights into defense planning" through personnel from Taiwan's military over the past 10 years, the report said.
Citing a Reuters review of court records and reports from Taiwan's official news agencies, the report indicated that in the past decade, at least 21 serving or retired Taiwanese officers with the rank of captain or above have been convicted of spying for China.
At least nine other serving or retired members of the armed forces are currently on trial or being investigated on suspicion of having had contact with spies from China, the report said.
The MND said Tuesday that no confidential military intelligence had been leaked in these cases as all of these interactions had been detected in the early stages.
Chiu attended Wednesday's session to brief lawmakers about the military's responsive measures amid increasing military coercion from Beijing.
In his report, Chiu said the People's Liberation Army aircraft has made more than 940 incursions into Taiwan's air defense identification zone so far since January this year.
In response, Taiwan's military has continued to strengthen its defense capabilities and enhance its weapons' range, precision, and mobility based on the nation's asymmetrical warfare plan, according to Chiu's report.
(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)
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