Taiwanese prosecutors and national security agents have laid a slew of charges against a number of pro-Beijing politicians following high-profile raids and hearings since the end of last year.
One of those arrested is an up-and-coming stalwart of the New Party, part of the island’s inter-party coalition that advocates reunification with China.
New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung will face an indictment for treason and espionage for organizing a spy network that acted as a conduit for Beijing to infiltrate the island’s government and military. One of his accomplices was reportedly a convicted student-turned spy from the mainland tasked with developing a spy network on the island.
Wang is a protégé of New Party’s avid pro-unification chairman Yok Mu-ming, who has been a frequent visitor at Zhongnanhai, the communist headquarters in Beijing.
Wang provoked a stir in an interview once when he tried to make a case for Beijing taking control of the island nation. “The Chinese Communist Party adopts a meritocracy, which could strike a delicate balance among different factions and also eliminate the usual tumult that always comes with the transfer of power from one party to another,” he was quoted as saying.
Wang put up stiff resistance last December when police and security agents, armed with a search warrant from Taipei District Prosecutors Office, tried to conduct a house raid shortly after he came back to Taiwan from a visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing, which included talks and dinners with party leaders “overseeing Taiwan affairs”.
Taiwanese papers have said that two Chinese agencies – the Chinese State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office and the Central Military Commission’s Political Work Department – appeared to have directed the spy ring Wang allegedly helped to set up with funding from Beijing.
During interrogation, Wang admitted that much of Beijing’s external liaison work entailed espionage and intelligence gathering targeting academics, military officers, the president’s office and foreign affairs ministry to plant spies and recruit people willing to give tips.
Wang is also accused of setting up a “branch of the Chinese Communist Party” on the National University of Taiwan campus, as well as feeding personal information and contact details of elite soldiers with the Taiwanese Army’s Aviation and Special Forces Command and the Airborne Special Service Company.