Testimony from retired senior Taiwanese military officers and current counterintelligence agents, among others, revealed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) infiltrated the military through military and civilian leaders on the island it seeks to possess. 

Authorities are now seeking to arrest CCP agent Xie Xizhang, the alleged recruiter who induced retired senior Taiwanese navy officer Chang Pei-ning to become one of its agents, according to Reuters Dec. 20. 

Xizhang, disguised as a Hong Kong businessman for 20 years, contacted Pei-ning in 2006, and Pei-ning helped him penetrate Taiwan’s active military leadership.

The strategy to lure the chosen ones consisted of offering them all-expenses-paid trips abroad, rewards of thousands of dollars, and gifts for their wives, then blackmailing the spies by threats to rat them out and significantly reducing the “rewards.”

According to documents cited by Reuters, the definitive evidence was obtained by the Taiwanese counterintelligence service in an operation conducted in 2019. As a result, Chang is charged with espionage and Xizhang is wanted for arrest.

The investigation also reveals that the CCP’s objectives include “to undermine the democratic island’s military and civilian leadership, corrode its will to fight, extract details of high-tech weapons and gain insights into defense planning,” according to Newsmax.

In this way, the CCP’s spies even managed to penetrate the security apparatus assigned to protect Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, for which a retired presidential security officer and a serving military police lieutenant colonel were convicted this year.

In this context, at least 21 military officers have been convicted over the past ten years in cases related to the handing over of confidential information to the CCP.

As part of its protection strategy, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported that it is launching education campaigns to encourage and reward military members to report first contacts with such “criminals.”

Retired Taiwanese Navy Lieutenant Commander Lu Li-shih reiterated, “China is conducting a very targeted infiltration effort towards Taiwan,” involving almost all ranks, including high-level generals.

For the CCP, Taiwan is part of its territory, despite the fact that the population of around 24 million people democratically elects its rulers and rejects claims of annexation to the mainland.

In this regard, last month, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen declared that her country “will continue to step up cooperation with the United States in order to uphold our shared values of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and stability in the region,” reiterating the will to maintain the country’s independence with the support of its allies. 

Over the past several months, tensions between the CCP and the United States have escalated over Taiwan, human rights and the coronavirus.

The United States has expressed its continued support for Taiwan’s independence. A statement issued by the White House in May following talks between the United States and the CCP stated that “President Biden emphasized that the United States remains committed to the “one-China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.”

He added that the U.S. “strongly opposes” any action that would alter the “status quo” in the region or “undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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