I prosecutor Taiwan said on Tuesday that it had charged a senior military officer with corruption and undermining state security after he said he accepted a bribe from a Chinese agent to act as a spy and signed a letter. In which surrender was promised. China.
Taiwan has long fought what it sees as a sustained espionage campaign by Beijing to weaken Taiwan’s armed forces and sow dissension within its ranks. China considers Taiwan a “sacred” part of its territory and has never shied away from using force to bring the island under its control.
The prosecutor’s office in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung said it is seeking a 12-year sentence for an army colonel who accepted T$560,000 (about $18,000) in bribes from a Chinese agent over the past four years. There was also a retired officer from Taiwan.
It said the retired officer persuaded the colonel, who was thinking of quitting the armed forces, to stay in the service so that he could gradually rise through the ranks and work as a spy.
The office added that the colonel promised in a letter that he would surrender in case of war with China.
Prosecutors identified the colonel as Hsiang Te-en.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office did not respond to a request for comment.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said the officer was suspected of violating national security and anti-corruption laws and would continue to cooperate with the investigation.
“This case highlights that the Chinese Communists have become a serious threat against us in terms of infiltration, recruitment, intelligence gathering and theft of secrets,” the ministry said.
It added that the ministry would continue to strengthen counterintelligence training for officers and soldiers and deepen security investigations.