Photo: flikr/Morning Calm News
A Taiwan Air Force Captain is the fourth confirmed person to be caught spying for China within the last two years, reported the Associated Press.The espionage from within Taiwanese ranks focused on the nation’s missile defence and communications systems built with sensitive U.S. technology.
Capt. Chiang was based in the north of Taiwan where the military houses their Lockheed Martin and Raytheon-supplied Patriot missiles along with the island’s early warning radar system.
In addition, local media reports translated by the AFP in Taipei said that a retired Taiwanese agent from the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau is in police custody for allegedly luring his colleagues to China under the pretext of travelling or doing business. They were then forcibly detained and interrogated on sensitive information, said the Chinese-language United Daily News.
Inside information on Taiwan serves China’s long-standing resolve to take back the nation by military force if necessary. The successfully modern island off the southeast coast of China remains independent and resistant to reunification with the mainland since a civil war 63 years ago.
Last year, the Taiwanese army’s head of communications and information was also arrested on the charge of spying for China. Taiwanese news reported that Maj. Gen. Lo Hsieh-che was recruited by a Chinese female spy in Bangkok while he was stationed in Thailand. He gave strategic secrets to Beijing and has now been sentenced to life in prison.
The Taiwan defence ministry said at the time that the Maj. Gen. was unlikely to have had access to U.S.-related intelligence. However, as a high-ranking officer he had documents regarding the purchase of the Po Sheng command and control system from American defence contractor Lockheed Martin.
The Po Sheng provides branches of the Taiwanese forces with a shared communication network that is crucial for coordinating military action.
In the event that China launches an attack on Taiwan for not ceding its independence, which China views as rebellious, the Chinese would want to know how to make their target as vulnerable as possible.
Having access to data on Taiwan’s radar-enabled missile defenses and communications system would give China a crippling upper hand, as gaining control of the electromagnetic spectrum is a major asset in modern warfare.
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