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Taiwan arrests double agent spying for China

by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Nov 2, 2010
A Taiwanese military intelligence agent has been arrested for working as a double agent for China, the defence ministry and media said Tuesday.

The agent, identified by his surname Lo, was taken into custody Tuesday on suspicion of leaking secrets to unauthorised personnel, the ministry said in a statement.

A defence spokesman added that relevant "damage control" measures have been initiated, without elaborating.

According to Apple Daily, Lo was recruited by another Taiwanese double agent and allegedly sold lists of spies stationed on the mainland and other secret information to China.

He had reportedly accumulated a total of 100,000 US dollars since he began working for China in 2007, the paper said.

The information Lo provided had compromised crucial Taiwanese intelligence networks in the mainland, and the agents were now "running for their lives," the report quoted an unnamed military source as saying.

Taiwan's Premier Wu Den-yih pledged in parliament that the government would help the agents whose identities had been compromised, vowing to get them home safely, according to the state Central News Agency.

Wu also said Taiwan has to maintain its defence and intelligence capabilities despite improving ties with China, according to the report.

Taiwan and China have spied on each other ever since they split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but there is no public information on the number of agents jailed on either side.

Taiwan's spy chief has expressed hopes that better relations with China could lead to the release of spies held by both sides and called for the matter to be included in routine two-way talks.

Beijing still regards the island as its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

A Taiwanese military spy chief has reportedly warned retired agents that they should never go to China because of the risk of arrest or interrogation there.

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