Taipei: President Ma Ying-jeou said Taiwan should strengthen its defences against Chinese espionage, following a string of spy scandals showing that intelligence gathering continues despite warming ties.
Taiwan needs to "actively prevent" any leak of secrets to China and must counter infiltration attempts by beefing up its counter-intelligence, Ma said in a statement issued by the National Security Bureau.
He made the comments at an intelligence meeting on Thursday aimed at tackling security issues resulting from expanding cross-Strait exchanges, the statement said.
Ties between Taiwan and China have improved markedly since Ma came to power three years ago on a Beijing-friendly platform but security concerns linger.
The two sides have spied on each other ever 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.
Taiwan`s military court earlier this year handed out life sentences to an Army general and an intelligence officer for spying for China in the island`s worst espionage scandals in recent years.
The general was allegedly lured in a honey trap by a Chinese female spy to gather information for Beijing while the intelligence officer reportedly had helped China unravel several of Taiwan`s spy networks on the mainland.
A retired Taiwanese agent recently warned that at least 10 Chinese moles were believed to have infiltrated the island`s security units.