2 Taiwan ex-military officers charged as spies for China

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Two retired military personnel yesterday were indicted for allegedly serving as Chinese spies, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office announced yesterday.

The two, surnamed Chien (錢) and Lu (盧), were found attempting to collect information for Chinese government from military personnel they knew, said in the indictment.

The prosecutors indicted the two under charges of violating the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例),

Lu, who previously served at the Air Defence Missile Command until his retirement in 2005, was recruited by Chinese intelligence agents in China's Xiamen City, when he was doing business there, the indictment said.

Lu successfully persuaded Chien, a former Navy officer discharged in 2009, to join him in his alleged espionage activity after paying the latter US$1,000 and 2,000 yuan.

The two later offered Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫), a former manager at the Naval Meteorological & Oceanographic Office (METOC) and Chang's wife, a free trip to Cebu in the Philippines in an attempt to recruit Chang.

They also paid Chang US$2,000 (S$2480) in exchange for his service in recruiting more current and former military personnel to pass military secrets to Beijing, the indictment said.

The METOC is responsible for mapping the maritime areas surrounding Taiwan.

Chang is now facing charges for passing confidential nautical charts that show maritime areas and adjacent coastal regions of Taiwan waters and related information on Taiwan's submarine project to the Chinese mainland.