Taipei (Taiwan News) - “Chinese espionage is now rampant in Taiwan, with approximately 4,000 Chinese spies residing in the island country to undertake sabotage and infiltration that undermines national security,” a former deputy minister of national defense said.
Lin Chong-pin, a former deputy defense minister from the Chen Shui-bian era and an expert on cross-strait relations, said in an interview with the Global Times recently that there are 3,000-4,000 Chinese spies and informants in Taiwan whose presence severely undermines national security.
According to the data issued by the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, a total of 55 espionage cases have been busted since 2008, but the country’s intelligence agency also admitted the finding is only the tip of the iceberg.
Even the developed countries in Europe and the United States could not spare themselves from Chinese espionage, according to experts in international relations. The assumption did not come from nowhere as Chen Yonglin, a former diplomat at the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, Australia, revealed that there were more than 1,000 Chinese spies and informants in Australia after his defection to that country in 2005.
The most recent and prominent Chinese espionage cases in Taiwan include a former Chinese PLA officer Zhen Xiaojiang, who came to Taiwan to develop a spy ring and successfully enticed a number of air force officers to join, thus obtaining important military secrets regarding bases and stations with radars; a one-star Taiwanese general Lo Hsieh-che, who fell for a sex trap during his stationing in Thailand and leaked military secrets to China for up to nine years.
Lo and Zhen were indicted in 2011 and 2015, respectively.
In 2009, a presidential aide Wang Ren-bing, who joined the presidential office in 2001 but was only transferred to the advisory office after Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated, was found leaking important secrets to China.
In the same interview with Global Times, Lin noted that the possibility that China takes Taiwan by force is slim without internal strife in the mainland, but if the communist regime did launch an attack, the island country could be taken in less than 72 hours. Lin added that the use of force is unwise and could deprive China of its best opportunity to thrive longer.