China's infiltration threat to Taiwan: Another Taiwanese soldier becomes a Communist spy China's infiltration threat to Taiwan: Another Taiwanese soldier becomes a Communist spy

China's infiltration threat to Taiwan: Another Taiwanese soldier becomes a Communist spy

China's infiltration threat to Taiwan: Another Taiwanese soldier becomes a Communist spy

Taiwan media "China Times" disclosed that Taiwan's Investigation Bureau and other units discovered that a former sergeant surnamed Chen from the Navy Training Center was being forced to pay back debts. During his service, he was suspected of being recruited by Chinese intelligence personnel as a spy for Beijing. He took advantage of his position to secretly take photos of naval personnel, training, base photos and other confidential information with his mobile phone at Su'ao Naval Port in Yilan, eastern Taiwan and Longquan Marine Corps Training Center in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, and leaked them to the Chinese side four times, making a total profit of about NT$170,000 (equivalent to about RMB 37,000).

The Investigation Bureau pointed out that the information leaked by Chen involved confidential information such as military ports, warship photos and personnel training, and was investigated by prosecutors of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office's "Major Cases Endangering National Security and Social Order" team. The Taiwan High Prosecutors Office prosecuted Chen in accordance with the "Land, Navy and Air Force Criminal Law" for collecting military secret electromagnetic records and the "Anti-Corruption Act" for accepting bribes in violation of his duties. The investigation was concluded on June 24 this year and the prosecution was filed.

The indictment mentioned that since 2022, Chen had been seeking to borrow money online through communication software such as LINE and TELEGRAM, and met "Business Manager Mr. Zhang" and others who collected intelligence for China in private lending and borrowing groups. In order to obtain high financing and low-interest loan opportunities, Chen sent messages to "Mr. Zhang" many times. "Mr. Zhang" lured Chen with generous rewards, on the condition that he hoped Chen would provide Taiwan's naval secrets.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense spokesman Sun Lifang confirmed at a regular press conference on the 9th that the case has entered the judicial process. The Ministry of National Defense’s security and defense mechanism discovered the abnormal situation during the internal counterintelligence process and worked closely with the national security team to solve the case and transfer it to the judicial authorities for handling.

"Anomalies found inside" the Ministry of National Defense and the security units cooperated to solve the case

Sun Lifang emphasized: "In recent years, the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party into our enemy spies has indeed posed a serious threat to the national army. The threat level of this threat is no less than the threat of missiles and aircraft and ships we have seen. For this reason, we have also done a lot of strengthening in terms of security education, counterintelligence mechanisms, and the operation of the security mechanism of the national security team."

Sun Lifang mentioned that in recent years, quite a number of espionage cases were discovered through internal reports by officers and soldiers or the operation of the protection and prevention mechanism, highlighting the effectiveness of this part. In the future, it is necessary to continue to strengthen the establishment of financial education concepts for officers and soldiers, and actively prevent officers and soldiers from falling into the enemy's trap.

Wang Ting-yu, a legislator of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said in an interview that this is not the first time. In the previous wave of espionage cases, many financial issues were involved, and many retired seniors returned to develop organizational relationships. "To maintain the reputation and honor of the military, we must eradicate these bad apples and use the heaviest law to deal with them. Through financial loopholes and underground banks, loopholes in national security and defense are formed. Whether such criminal patterns should be punished more severely and deterred is still under consideration."

Gong Xiangsheng, an associate researcher at the Institute of Chinese Political, Military and Operational Concepts at the Taiwan National Defense and Security Research Institute, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia that the Zuoying Military District is large, with the new training center and important naval institutions located within it, and that non-commissioned officers are free to move around. Soldiers whose families are in financial difficulties or who have bad money management habits and are in urgent need of money often become a loophole.

Low-ranking NCOs have a low threshold for contact and can easily cast a net to obtain real-time intelligence

In the past, there were many well-known high-ranking retired generals involved in Beijing's espionage cases. In recent years, most of them are active or retired non-commissioned officers and soldiers who have gained access by establishing relationships by pretending to be senior or junior students, superiors or subordinates.

Gong Xiangsheng said: "He doesn't need to develop too high-level people. As long as he develops people from the lower class who are easy to enter and contact, they can help him take pictures of Zuoying Military Port and important military facilities. This kind of infiltration is very convenient for them, and they can get what they need immediately. The immediacy of military intelligence is very important."

Gong Xiangsheng gave an example. Taking Zuoying Military Port as an example, by taking photos of the surrounding military facilities at regular intervals and locations, it is possible to estimate the number of ships, people, and vehicles within a week or a few days, so as to calculate the number of local military personnel, vehicles, or equipment, frequency, peak period of stationing, etc.

In response to the Ministry of National Defense's emphasis on the fact that the case was solved as a result of the internal security mechanism's counterintelligence work, Gong Xiangsheng said that it is difficult to completely prevent soldiers from selling intelligence, and what the Ministry of National Defense can do is to discover it immediately and as soon as possible.

He analyzed that in the past, China had more frequent contact with retired military officers, but now, due to the need for immediacy, it has contacted active military personnel to absorb various types of intelligence in order to piece together a complete intelligence network.

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