Taiwanese businessman charged over work with Chinese intelligence

08/05/2020 08:52 PM
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The Taipei District Prosecutors Office. CNA file photo
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office. CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) Taipei District Prosecutors Office on Wednesday charged a Taiwanese businessman with violating the National Security Act, for his alleged work on behalf of Chinese intelligence, specifically arranging meetings with officials from Taiwan's government and military.

The suspect, surnamed Huang (黃), moved to Ningbo, China in 2000, and befriended local government officials there in the hope of advancing his business career, the office said in a press release.

Prosecutors alleged that Huang was recruited to arrange meetings with Taiwanese government and military personnel, with the goal of helping collect information on Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party and the Falun Gong religious movement.

In 2011 and 2012, he invited two Taiwanese acquaintances -- a retired Ministry of Justice investigator, surnamed Lee (李), and a retired Major General, surnamed Yen (閻), respectively -- to visit him in Ningbo on the pretext of touring the area.

During their visits, he allegedly brought them to meals with three officials from the Chinese Ministry of State Security, as well as a representative from the local Taiwan Affairs Office.

According to prosecutors, the Chinese officials made overtures that were interpreted as invitations to act as informers, which were rebuffed by both men.

Huang was also accused of attempting to recruit a Taiwanese National Security Bureau official, surnamed Lee (李), whom he met at a banquet while visiting Taiwan in 2012.

In that instance, Huang allegedly said he was working for China to gather intelligence on the Falun Gong movement, but Lee refused to assist him.

The prosecutors' office said it had charged Huang under Taiwan's National Security Act for attempting to "develop an organization" for the official use of a foreign government.

In the statement, prosecutors said Huang had been cooperative during the investigation.

They also emphasized that Huang's actions had not resulted in the transfer of any actual intelligence to Chinese authorities, and that his efforts to recruit Taiwanese public officials were unsuccessful. (Hsiao Po-wen and Matthew Mazzetta)

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