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Taiwan: Businessman, retired officers detained over suspicion of spying for China

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A Taiwanese court approved the detention of a businessman and two retired officers on suspicion of spying for China, Taiwan News reported on Friday.

Chinese security officials allegedly asked the businessman, surnamed Wen, to invite retired military officers over to China for meetings, the report said quoting Central News Agency (CNA).

A former officer named Chu agreed first and then recruited Chiang to join him, Kaohsiung prosecutors said.

During a visit to China, the three reportedly agreed to expand their organisation and persuade more serving and retired officers to join and provide information to Beijing. After completing their investigation, prosecutors raided Wen’s home on May 9 and detained all three suspects, Taiwan News reported.

While the three accused have denied the allegations, the investigators said they were highly likely to have broken the National Security Act.

To prevent them from fleeing the country or from colluding, the prosecutors wanted them to be held incommunicado. Following this, the Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Court approved the request on Friday morning.

Earlier on Thursday, the Taiwan Coast Guard detected the Chinese ships south of Kinmen’s water.

As many as seven Chinese coast guard ships, along with three Chinese shipping boats suspected of conducting exercises with them, entered restricted waters approximately 7 kilometres southwest of Kinmen.

11 Chinese coast guard ships and three fishing boats entered Kinmen’s prohibited and restricted waters in two convoys, Taiwan News reported.

On Thursday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) said it detected six Chinese military aircraft operating near Taiwan’s airspace from 6 am (local time) on Thursday to 6 am (local time) on Friday.

According to Taiwan’s MND, 4 of the 7 Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line and entered Taiwan’s south-western and eastern Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). In response to Chinese activity, Taiwanese armed forces monitored the situation and deployed aircraft, naval vessels and coastal missile systems.