- Special Pages
TAIPEI: Taiwan said yesterday that three retired military officers have been arrested on suspicion of leaking military secrets to China, in what legislators described as one of the island’s worst espionage cases.
Chang Chih-hsin, formerly in charge of political warfare at the navy’s METOC (meteorology and oceanography) office, is among those held, the defence ministry said in a statement.
“Chang, who initiated contacts with Chinese mainland officials while still serving in the navy, was suspected of luring his former colleagues and making illegal gains,” it said.
Defence ministry spokesman David Lo confirmed two other former military officers have also been arrested in the case.
Lo did not say what kind of military information Chang allegedly sold to China but played down the damage to Taiwan’s security, saying he had limited access to sensitive information.
Apple Daily newspaper said a total of eight former military officers had been arrested.
It quoted a retired naval general as saying the naval METOC kept highly classified information such as maps and charts used by the island’s submarines and other warships.
If China had such information, it could learn more about the operations of Taiwan’s submarines, the ex-general warned.
“This has gravely endangered Taiwan’s security. It’s a shame for the military,” legislator Lin Yu-fang of the ruling Kuomintang party told reporters.
Wung Ming-hsien, a professor at Taipei’s Tamkang University, said increased contacts between Taiwan and its former rival China over the past years had blurred the line between friend and foe.