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
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
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
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.