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June 23, 2017

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Cash, women, blackmail top motivators for spying: MND

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A majority of former military personnel found spying for China did so for money, women or due to threats of blackmail, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Tuesday.

Military spokesman Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said at a regular news briefing that the R.O.C. Armed Forces had conducted its own probes after several recent cases of espionage.

A number of former soldiers were found to be leaking military secrets to Beijing.

Chen said there were three recurring reasons for alleged spying by former officers: "It was either a result of the Chinese side having something to threaten them (the alleged spies) with, or they did it to get a fortune or for a woman."

The retired military personnel often tried to collect the latest military information from former colleagues still in the Armed Forces or from lower ranking military personnel, Chen said.

To prevent future espionage attempts, Chen said the MND was focusing on educating soon-to-be discharged personnel.

It had also produced a short film featuring recent cases of espionage to remind soldiers not to spy for China.

Spying for China was illegal and an act of betrayal, Chen added.

Chen's comments came after the New Taipei District Prosecutors Offices questioned two former military personnel on charges of serving as Chinese spies Monday.

Latest Alleged Spy Case

The two alleged spies are a former Air Force lieutenant colonel surnamed Bian (邊) of the MND's Communication Development Office, and Lin (林), a ex-section chief of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST, 中科院), Taiwan's top military research institute.

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