TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Veterans Affairs Council (VAC) Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) on Thursday (March 2) denounced a Nikkei report that suggested a widespread tendency among retired Taiwanese military officials to sell out their country.
In a series of reports unveiling “the unknown truths of Taiwan” starting on Tuesday (Feb. 28), the Nikkei alleged in an article that up to 90% of retired Taiwanese military officials provide intelligence to China for profit.
The article said that top positions in the Taiwan defense ministry have long been held by “Chinese mainlanders,” referring to those migrating to Taiwan after 1945. An army led by such personnel could not possibly be able to fend off Chinese invaders, it said, citing unspecified military sources.
According to the Nikkei report, a retiree from the Army said there are still “many spies out there in Taiwan’s military” assisting China. This is the reason the U.S. has been circumspect in its arms sales and aid to Taiwan for fear that intelligence might be leaked to Beijing.
Asked to comment on such allegations at a legislative interpellation, Feng, who previously served as Taiwan’s defense minister, appeared irate, rebutting them as “nonsense,” according to CNA.
However, Beijing has been recruiting Taiwanese military personnel. Only last week, a former Taiwan Army colonel who had signed statements that guaranteed his surrender to China in a potential cross-strait conflict was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail on corruption charges.
Taiwan’s defense ministry on Wednesday (March 1) rejected relevant claims as “fabricated” and hurting the morale of the country’s armed forces. The foreign ministry also slammed the Nikkei for carrying “unverified, misleading” reports and demanded clarifications from the Japanese newspaper.