TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Chinese tourist entered a sensitive radar base in the Taiwan Strait archipelago of Penghu during Chinese live-fire drills last week, reports said Wednesday.
The intruder, a 26-year-old man surnamed Wei (魏), was released after his computer and smartphone were found not to contain any confidential military information, the Apple Daily reported.
At the time of the incident, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was visiting African ally eSwatini, while China’s People’s Liberation Army was conducting live-fire Navy drills in the Taiwan Strait close to its city of Quanzhou.
Wei entered the military base on Xiyu (West Island, 西嶼), on the western side of Penghu County, reportedly after losing his way on April 18. While Xiyu contains tourist attractions such as a lighthouse and a Qing Dynasty fort, the military base is also home to a radar installation which tracks movements through the Taiwan Strait.
As China has repeatedly sent Navy vessels, including its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and Air Force jets and bombers to approach Taiwanese-controlled areas, the radar base has gained importance to become Taiwan’s “ears and eyes,” the Apple Daily reported.
The Navy said its staff at the base had acted rapidly to intercept the intruder, adding the incident served as a warning to remind personnel to be vigilant.
The Chinese tourist had arrived in Taiwan by ferry on the island of Kinmen before boarding a flight to Penghu, the Apple Daily reported. As no evidence of spying was found on his person, he was let go after questioning by the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau.