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September 25, 2017

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Retired officers sentenced for helping to recruit spies

TAIPEI -- Two retired military officers were sentenced to 10 months in jail Friday for helping China develop a spying network in Taiwan.

Lu Chun-chun (盧俊均), who served at the military's Missile Command Center until 2005, and Chien Ching-kuo (錢經國), a former Navy lieutenant who retired in 2009, were convicted of violating the National Security Act, the Kaohsiung District Court said.

Lu's sentence was suspended for three years on the basis that he has no previous criminal record.

The 36-year-old pursued a business career in China after leaving the military, where he made friends with government officials in the city of Xiamen before being recruited by a Chinese intelligence agency, the court said in the verdict.

In May 2009, Lu invited Chien on an expenses-paid trip to the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where Chien met with Chinese intelligence personnel.

Chinese intelligence there asked Chien specifics about Taiwan's military and paid him US$1,000 and 2,000 Chinese yuan (US$382) in travel subsidies, it said.

Following their return, the duo managed to absorb Chang Chih-hsin, then-chief officer of political warfare at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Office after inviting him to a trip to Cebu, the Philippines, it said.

Before that, Chien and Lu had attempted to absorb three other officers by inviting them to join free overseas trips offered by China, it said.

In March 2013, Chien was sentenced to three years in jail for providing China with classified information on Taiwan's plan to send naval fleets to protect Taiwanese deep-sea fishing vessels from attacks by Somali pirates in 2011.

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