Taiwan has arrested a senior military officer accused of spying for rival China, the island's defence authorities said on Wednesday, warning citizens to beware of the mainland despite warming ties between the two sides.
The 51-year-old officer, Major-General Lo Hsien-che, is accused of collecting intelligence for Beijing for at least six years and is believed to be the highest-ranking Taiwanese military official accused of espionage for China.
The arrest has underscored the persistent distrust and military tensions between Taipei and Beijing despite warming economic ties as China's rapid economic growth has become increasingly important to Taiwan's fortunes.
China calls the self-ruled island an illegitimate breakaway province that must reunify with the mainland.
"At the end of October last year, or 2010, the defence ministry and national security departments cooperated to obtain leads and held investigations. We requested the military court prosecutor to investigate on his (Lo) spying actions," Wang Ming-wo, deputy bureau chief of the Military Political Warfare Bureau, told a news briefing in Taiwan's capital, Taipei.
"General Lo Hsien-che was posted overseas from 2002 to 2005, and the case of his spying for China began during the period. He was not posted in the United States as stated in some media reports. He was recruited by China in 2004," said Wang.
Taiwan's defence ministry said the island's citizens should be cautious about China's intentions, even with the warming of cross-strait economic ties.
China's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office could not be immediately reached for comment about the case.
ReutersLast Mod: 09 Şubat 2011, 16:50