Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council urges end to speculation over official’s alleged China leaks

Call comes after council's vice-chairman resigns pending inquiry and main opposition party demands prosecutors subpoena President Ma Ying-jeou for questioning over his role in case

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 August, 2014, 7:32pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 August, 2014, 9:43pm

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) called on local media today to stop speculating about an ongoing inquiry into alleged leaks of classified information to the mainland by a former senior negotiator.

The appeal came as the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) demanded that the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office subpoena President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah for questioning about their roles in the case.

Rumours have been flying after the council announced earlier last week that its vice-chairman, Chang Hsien-yao, had resigned, pending an investigation into whether he had leaked secrets.

As the council failed to reveal what exactly Chang had done that had led to the investigation, speculation and conspiracy theories began circulating immediately, including one involving a power struggle between Chang and his boss, Wang Yu-chi.

Some local media called the situation a case of serious espionage, saying if Chang had leaked any classified information, it could even constitute treason.

Other media reported that the United States had informed the council about alleged leaks, and that it had been watching Chang for two years because it suspected him of being a mainland spy.

The council rebutted all the media speculation today, saying it had not launched an investigation two years ago, and that it had never received any information from the United States about the allegation.

It also dismissed media reports describing Chang as a spy for the mainland.

“The council has many times clarified various rumours and speculation about the case, which is now in the process of judicial investigation in order to come up with the truth,” the MAC said.

Chang, who has been a chief negotiator representing the island in trade economic talks with the mainland, denies the claims, saying that what he did was in line with council policy, and that he had reported all his work results to Ma, who gave his full support.

At a news conference today, the DPP said Ma must explain whether he had instructed Chang to do anything that led to Chang being suspected of leaking classified information.

Party leaders also asked the prosecutors to question Ma; his close aide, King Pu-tsung, the secretary-general of the National Security Council; and Jiang concerning the case.