Former military officers jailed for recruiting spies for Beijing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 4:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 7:13am


A Taiwanese court has sentenced two former officers to 10 months in prison for helping recruit spies for the mainland.

Ex-navy lieutenant Chien Ching-kuo was convicted yesterday of violating the national security law, along with Lu Chun-chun. Lu recruited Chien to join the Communist Party with a paid overseas trip and cash gifts in 2009, the Kaohsiung district court in southern Taiwan heard.

According to the court, the pair had arranged for several officers to go on overseas tours paid by mainland officials in a bid to recruit them to spy for Beijing.

This included a former commander in charge of political warfare at the navy's meteorology and oceanography office, who agreed to collaborate.

Chien was discharged from the navy in 2009, while Lu retired from the military's missile command centre in 2005.

Lu's sentence was suspended for three years because he had no criminal record, the court said.

In a separate trial, Chien was sentenced to three years in prison last year for leaking confidential military information to the mainland, including Taiwan warship deployments and missions.

Taiwan has been hit by a string of spy scandals in recent years. Last month, the supreme court sentenced a former air force lieutenant colonel to life in prison for spying for Beijing.

In September, a retired vice-admiral was jailed for 14 months for collecting confidential military information for the mainland, just months after an ex-lieutenant general was indicted for leaking secrets to Beijing.

Intelligence gathering has continued despite warming ties with the mainland under the island's current Beijing-friendly government.

Taiwan and the mainland have spied on each since the end of their civil war in 1949. Beijing still regards the island as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.