News24

Taiwan holds 2 for spying

2010-02-03 17:05

Taipei - Taiwan has detained two retired military intelligence agents suspected of spying for China, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The authorities were investigating whether the agents had collected confidential defence information for China, said a spokesperson at Taiwan's High Prosecutors' Office, without elaborating.

According to Taiwan's Apple Daily, one of the suspects, Chang Chuan-chen, went to live in China after he retired from the military intelligence bureau four years ago, but continued to work for the bureau on the mainland.

After the retirement of his contact at the bureau, Tseng Nen-duen, Chang admitted that he was already spying for China and convinced Tseng to join him, the report said, citing unnamed sources.

They were also found to be in contact with two current officials at the bureau, which might have helped them obtain more confidential documents, the report said.

Former arch-rivals Taiwan and China have spied on each other ever since they split in 1949 at the end of a civil war. Beijing still claims the island as its territory, awaiting reunification - by force if necessary.

Ties have improved markedly since Taiwan's China-friendly government took power in 2008, and Beijing has so far avoided public criticism of Taipei in a spat with Washington over the sale of US arms to the island.