Wendell Minnick
Wendell Minnick

Officially China and Taiwan are still at war, although hostilities are mostly verbal. Until Taiwan arrested an alleged spy from China this month, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News.

Wendell Minnick:

Taiwan has arrested an alleged Chinese spy, the first such apprehension in Taiwan in decades, according to the National Security Bureau.

The question many here in Taipei are asking is whether China will attempt some sort of swap to get him back. China is holding two Military Intelligence Bureau agents who were captured in Vietnam more than a decade ago.

On Jan. 16, Taipei prosecutors went forward on indictments on mainlander Zhen Ziaojiang’s alleged spy ring, which included five Taiwanese accused of spying for China. The indictment charged former Army Maj. Gen. Hsu Nai-chuan, Air Force Lt. Col. Chou Chih-li, Air Force pilot Sung Chia-lu, Air Force official Yang Jung-hua, and karaoke club owner Lee Huan-yu.

According to media outlets, Zhen was a captain and an intelligence officer in the People’s Liberation Army. This has given rise to the assumption that the Army’s Second Department of the General Staff Department was in charge of the operation.

In 2005, Zhen obtained residency in Hong Kong and began flying to Taiwan ostensibly on business and tourist trips, which were allegedly missions to recruit Taiwan military officers, according to government statements to the press. Zhen’s alleged mainland intelligence contact has been identified as a “Mao Shangyu,” most likely a pseudonym, based in Xiamen City, Fujian Province, the statements said.

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