Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB) and the Ministry of Education have refuted accusations by Beijing that Taiwanese spies had targeted students, tourists and brides from the mainland for cooperation in espionage activities in the mainland, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
The NSB stressed that it has never collected information in any campus, dismissing charges leveled by Chinese authorities.
Meanwhile, firing some shots of its own, the NSB accused Beijing of asking students returning to the mainland after studies in Taiwan to file reports to Chinese national security authorities, the report said.
On Monday, Fan Liqing, a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, urged Taiwan authorities to stop trying to enlist for espionage activities mainlanders who were in Taiwan.
According to a Global Times report on Monday, mainland authorities have so far discovered nearly 40 cases of instigation by Taiwanese spies, involving students from 15 mainland provinces or cities.
Three Taiwanese spies — identified as Lin Chao-wei, Hsu Chi-chun and Tai Wei-kuang — were accused of trying to enlist mainland students, tourists and brides in Taipei and Taichung.
Wu Lien Shang, acting principal of the National Kaohsiung Normal University, on Monday confirmed that Lin had graduated from the school in 2013 with a Master’s degree, but stressed that he never received any reports of abnormal behavior of Lin, according to Apple Daily (Taiwan).
In addition, staff at National Ilan University, which Hsu had attended, clarified that the school started accepting mainland students only in 2014, and therefore Hsu, who graduated years ago, didn’t have any chance to incite people from China.
Apple Daily also interviewed three mainland students in Taiwan. All of them said they were not aware of any incidents of Taiwanese spies approaching students.
However, a mainland student who once studied at the National Taiwan University was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying that he was once approached by Taiwan’s national security staff.
He said any such attempt would be only a waste of time and resources as it would be impossible for ordinary students like him to provide any sensitive information on China.
Meanwhile, a similar incident also happened in Hong Kong, according to Ming Pao Daily. A person working at a pro-Beijing newspaper publisher was said to have been detained by the mainland’s national security authorities on the charge that he took money and gave information he collected in the mainland to a Taiwan spy. The information was reportedly passed on through a Taiwanese businessman in the mainland.
The person was later released but was fired by his employer, the report said, adding that he has now moved to Taiwan to avoid trouble.
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