Taiwan rounds up suspected spies

From the BBC, skullduggery afoot on the island!

[quote]Taiwan rounds up suspected spies
By Chris Hogg, BBC, Hong Kong

Taiwan’s defence ministry spokesman Liou Chih-jein speaks at a press conference in Taipei, 11 May 2005
Taiwan officials said “damage limitation” was underway
Taiwan says it has detained 17 military officers and civilians suspected of passing military secrets to China.

They include an army major working in the defence ministry reported to be responsible for collecting intelligence about China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Taiwan says the alleged spy ring was discovered by accident during investigations into credit card fraud.

Both Taiwan and its rival China are believed to run extensive intelligence networks in each other’s territory.

Both sides regularly announce the arrests and convictions of alleged spies.


  • Ruled by separate governments since end of Chinese civil war in 1949
  • China considers the island part of its territory
  • China has offered a “one country, two systems” solution, like Hong Kong
  • Most people in Taiwan support status quo

Guide to Taiwan flashpoint

One of the suspects rounded up in the latest operation works in a Taiwanese defence ministry unit, which has access to sensitive information about the island’s missile systems.

Officials have denied reports that the alleged spy, an army major, sold missile secrets to China.

When police searched his home, they found classified information about China’s annual military drills, and unspecified scientific research his unit had collected.

Leaking this information, they said, could have allowed China to better understand Taiwan’s intelligence-gathering operation on the mainland.

What they call “damage control mechanisms” have been activated. The investigations continue.

Death penalty for treason, or the slap on the wrist and “don’t let us catch you doing this again”?

Depends on how well your family is connected in the prosecuters office…

…heh…heh…heh… :smiley:

I think the normal procedure here is to lock them up.

Public executions might make more army personnel/civil servants/ govt researchers think twice before acepting well-paid moonlighting for the PRC.

Only 17 spies? That’s it?

They’re spying on each other like crazy. It’s like that comic in MAD magazine. The white spy and the black spy trying to outspy each other.

The quality of Taiwan’s espionage capabilities has likely decreased since the late 90’s. Taiwan has lost many of their incentives for recruiting mainland agents. The overwhelming majority of mainlanders will not support green separatism thus there is no ideological attachment there once was. Democracy was once a powerful lure but now that China is developing and the private sphere has become more liberal the pool of potential spies has diminished. There of course remains one final incentive, that is money, and a powerful one it is, but it is really the only one. On the other hand, the mainland has a more options, being able to use money as well as the nationalism card to get information. Taiwan is particularly suceptible due to the legacy of the KMT within the military.

History suggests that spies were usually lured by money, not nationalism. Using your statements this suggests that Taiwan still has the upper hand. Instead democracies, unlike China which has none (you must have more than one party to practice democracy) are easier to spy on because they have open societies. Therefore the former majority of your statement is useless and just for show.

Are we allowed to say such things? Isn’t big red reading this? I bet they are.

All I know is they delete most of my comments on People’s Daily forums.

All I know is they delete most of my comments on People’s Daily forums.[/quote]

Hey, me too. I think it has something to do with things that I write. Like, “Taiwan has not ever been, nor ever will be, a part of the People’s Republic of China”.

Do you think that has something to do with it? :idunno:

Yes, that must be it. You’re being monitored. Well, now they’ve announced that they’re monitoring the internet. Blah.