Taiwan’s ruling party DPP proposes bill to root out China’s spies

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Public TV English
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TAIPEI: Taiwan is battling a sustained Chinese espionage campaign and, to root out those spies, the legislators of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have proposed an amendment to strip benefits from military retirees who have received suspended sentences for espionage-related offences, Taipei Times reported.

Democratic Progressive Party legislator Puma Shen alleged that China frequently uses retired military officers to ‘build bridges’ with active-duty military personnel in Taiwan. They penetrate Taiwan’s active military leadership as part of a long-running Chinese operation to build a spy ring among serving and retired military officers.

He further said that only the personnel who have received sentences under the contraventions stipulated in the Anti-infiltration Act and the National Security Act will lose their retirement benefits.

Additionally, 14 retirees who have been sentenced under espionage-related offences are off however, 85 per cent of that remains outstanding, DPP legislator Michelle Lin was quoted as saying. He added that the convicted retirees could also avoid paying by applying for administrative relief.

Legislators Shen, Lin, Wu Li-hua, Lin Yi-chin, and Tsai Yi-yu in the last week submitted this draft to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee to amend the Military Service for Officers and Non-commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces Act, reported Taipei Times.

The service regulations for officers and non-commissioned officers of the army, navy and air force stipulate that those who commit acts that facilitate civil strife or foreign invasion, or that endanger national security through the sharing of national secrets with a foreign power and are sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment, must lose their retirement benefits.

The proposed amendment adds that in cases where the prosecutor does not pursue a case or defers prosecution, or where a sentence has not yet been determined, the retiree would also lose their benefits, reported Taipei Times.

Additionally, in another step to safeguard its waters from China’s military aggression, Taiwan’s Navy is expected to commission two more domestically-built Tou Jiang-class stealth missile corvettes into service next month.

The Taiwan-based news agency reported citing sources familiar with the matter that the two corvettes, the Hsu Jiang (PGG-621) and the Wu Jiang (PGG-623), will be officially commissioned into the Navy in an early May ceremony. The two corvettes, launched in February and June 2023, respectively, were delivered to the Navy this February. They are the third and fourth mass-produced Tou Jiang-class stealth missile corvettes.

Designed and manufactured by Taiwan, the Tuo Jiang-class corvette is a fast and stealthy multi-purpose corvette built for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy, Central News Agency Taiwan reported. (ANI)

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