Taiwan businessman jailed for spying for China
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 21:40
Taipei: A Taiwanese businessman was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Tuesday after he was caught trying to buy confidential information on missile technology on behalf of China, a court said.

Lai Kun-chieh, 35, an employee at a Chinese multinational computer technology company, repeatedly tried to approach an old school friend who had become an army major, the High Court said in a statement.

He was apprehended in May as he tried to hand the major USD 20,000 in cash in exchange for missile-related information.

The major became suspicious and reported the former classmate to the authorities, the court said.

Lai told investigators he was recruited in February last year by a senior official in charge of Taiwan affairs at China's State Council.

President Ma Ying-jeou, who has adopted a conciliatory approach to Beijing, said last week that Taiwan should strengthen its defences against Chinese espionage.

His comments followed a string of spy scandals which revealed that intelligence gathering continues despite warming ties.

Taiwan's military court earlier this year sentenced an army general and an intelligence officer to life for spying for China in the island's worst espionage scandals in recent years.

Taiwan and China have a history of spying on each other since they split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Beijing still regards the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.


First Published: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 21:40

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