High profile China-Taiwan spy case sends tremor through strengthening ties
The high-profile arrest will do more damage to Taiwan, where officials are under scrutiny for missing the suspected espionage, than it will to Taiwan-China relations.
Taiwan's arrest of its highest-level suspected spy for China will tickle Beijing, irritate Washington, and embarrass the local government but have little lasting affect on efforts by the three sides to get along, despite a history of tensions.Skip to next paragraph
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China stands to gain another point from from the Jan. 25 arrest of Taiwan Gen. Lo Hsien-che, who is accused of steadily leaking it secrets since 2004, analysts say, as the case may cause US officials to question their military involvement in territory that Beijing claims as its own.
Meanwhile, Washington should wonder whether Lo handed over information on low-key but high-tech and multilayered US military cooperation with its strategic ally Taiwan, say observers. China sees itself as the owner of self-ruled Taiwan and staunchly opposes US military aid to the island.
Taiwan's military must investigate further to find out what General Lo leaked in what officials call their worst spy case ever, says deputy defense minister Andrew Yang.
Lo had met Chinese counterparts offshore, complicating the case, says Mr. Yang. He adds that the probe may point to additional suspects but would not specify what information might have been leaked.
Taiwan media says Lo, undetected because of his rank, turned over material on a Taiwan-US Pacific Command joint military strike information-sharing platform, proposed sales of Apache helicopters made by Boeing and an island-wide optical cable network.
China has claimed Taiwan since Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists fled to the island after losing the Chinese civil war to Mao Zedong's Communists. Both sides continue to arm themselves in case of war with the other side just 160 km (100 miles) away.
Even as relations have warmed quickly since 2008 through trade talks under Taiwan's China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou, the two historic foes have avoided discussion of far more sensitive military issues.