Sunday, October 4, 2009

Taiwan Arrests Yet Another Alleged Spy



Taiwan Arrests Yet Another Alleged Spy

By Wendell Minnick

Taiwan arrested a former Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) analyst on charges of spying for Beijing.

On June 20, retired Col. Wang Hui-hsien was arrested after being questioned by Taiwan High Court prosecutors, becoming the latest example of a former government official who moved to China to go into business, then faced charges of selling state secrets.

Since Wang's retirement in 2002 as an MIB China analyst, he has worked as a businessman in Shanghai, where prosecutors allege he was recruited by the Chinese intelligence services. Wang is accused of identifying MIB agents working in China and of attempting to recruit MIB officers during a 2005 trip to Taiwan. Wang, who faces a potential seven-year sentence, has reportedly confessed to the charges and identified two additional MIB officials working for China.

MIB, nicknamed "the men in black" for their successes at penetrating China, has suffered setbacks in recent years as Chinese authorities have rolled up several MIB spy rings. MIB is responsible for human intelligence collection in China, whereas the National Security Bureau is responsible for internal national security and intelligence, such as signal intelligence and eavesdropping.

A U.S. official assigned to the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said U.S. secrets are safe in Taiwan despite allegations by many in Washington that Taiwan has been "saturated with Chinese spies."

Sources in Taipei allege there are over 5,000 mainland Chinese spies in Taiwan. Taiwanese businessmen and even legislators invest in and own Chinese businesses. Hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese have built "Taiwan-towns" in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, reminiscent of Chinatowns in the West.

China and Taiwan have just concluded a major agreement to begin direct cross-strait flights beginning in July. Security concerns over an increase of mainland visitors will no doubt cause more problems as contacts between Chinese and Taiwanese grow. Chinese intelligence organizations will no doubt exploit these exchanges.

In 2007, Lin Yu-nung, an agent in the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB), and Chen Chih-kao, a retired MJIB agent working in Shanghai, were arrested and charged with corruption and violations of the National Security Law and the National Intelligence Services Act. Both were accused of collecting data on MJIB personnel appointments.

In 2003, Taiwan officials arrested Huang Chen-an, an employee of the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), for selling Beijing data on the development of a Taiwan "Smart Bomb," the electronic parameters of CSIST-built missiles, and information on the Po Sheng (Broad Victory) C4ISR project.

Huang was responsible for research and development for all missile and radar programs, including secret projects involving the land-attack cruise missile, anti-radiation missile, short-range ballistic missile and radar programs.

Huang had been recruited by a mainland Chinese spy whom he married and later divorced. Despite the fact she was an illegal alien and a mainland Chinese, she managed to marry three CSIST employees in a 10-year period. Officials described her as a professionally trained agent who focused on seducing lonesome CSIST employees.