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Taiwan jails ex-colonel for 7 years, 6 months for promise to surrender to China

Hsiang also collected information on behalf of China for NT$40,000 a month

Shao Wei-chiang and Hsiang Te-en with the latter's surrender note. 

Shao Wei-chiang and Hsiang Te-en with the latter's surrender note.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A former Army colonel will have to serve seven years and six months in prison for promising to surrender if China attacked and for accepting payments from Beijing to provide information, the Supreme Court decided Thursday (Dec. 7).

A district court and the Taiwan High Court had issued the same verdict, which became final when the Supreme Court rejected an appeal Thursday, per the Liberty Times. Retired Col. Hsiang Te-en (向德恩) will also lose his civil rights for four years.

His case gained notoriety when a picture surfaced of him in uniform in Jan. 2020 holding a note pledging his allegiance to China. At the time, he was posted to the frontline island of Kinmen.

The investigation found that Hsiang had also been paid NT$40,000 (US$1,270) a month by Shao Wei-chiang (邵維強), a journalist and retired officer, to collect confidential information for China. He received a total of NT$560,000 for his efforts before the deal was discovered.

Shao, who was recently sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison, had met Hsiang at the latter’s wedding in 2011, and later used his divorce as a pretext to offer him the spy job.

During the handling of the case by a district court, Hsiang pleaded guilty and paid back the NT$560,000 he had accepted from Shao. However, during the Taiwan High Court trial, he pleaded not guilty and accused Shao of having set him up. The court however concluded differently and upheld the original prison sentence, the Liberty Times reported.