National security organ warns of Taiwan spies’ attempts to recruit mainland students

By Fan Lingzhi and Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/16 19:13:39 Last Updated: 2018/9/17 13:53:52

Chinese mainland students incited to provide confidential information

Chinese mainland students must stay on high alert over Taiwan spies, the mainland's national security authorities warned after they recently revealed cases in which mainland students were incited to provide confidential information to Taiwan's "intelligence agencies."

Mainland national security authorities told the Global Times that Taiwan "intelligence agencies" are offering money, faking close relations and offering sexual temptations to people including mainland students who study in Taiwan, as a means to incite defection.

"Taiwan authorities must avoid any further damage to the increasingly complicated and intense cross-Straits relations," An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said in a statement released on Sunday.

The mainland's national security organs have launched a special campaign to crack down on these activities by Taiwan, he noted. 

The fact that the Taiwan "intelligence agencies" are building a spy network among mainland students seriously damages national security and national interest, and harms the overall peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, mainland authorities said.

Real cases

When Song Zhe (pseudonym), a mainland university student, was on an exchange program to Taiwan in March 2011, he was invited to a meal where he was approached by a woman from Taiwan, calling herself Hsu Chia-ying.

Hsu expressed an abnormal fondness for Song after he mentioned some advanced research projects of his faculty. Soon after, Hsu started inviting Song to bars and tempted Song to sex during a trip together.

After Song returned to the mainland, he took part in a key national research project. Hsu continued to express her love for Song and asked him to provide theses and reports on the project. It was at this point that Song doubted Hsu's identity.

However, when Song refused to provide further information to Hsu, she began to threaten Song. Unable to handle the pressure, Song provided her with research data related to national defense.

According to data released by mainland national security authorities, Hsu's real name was Hsu Li-ting, a spy who worked for Taiwan's "Military Intelligence Bureau".

Taiwan spy Hsu Li-ting Photo: Courtesy of mainland's national security authorities

Sexual temptation is not the only way Taiwan spies try to get intelligence.

Mainland student Zhu Hui (pseudonym) was about to write his thesis at a Taiwan university, but was having difficulty finding political figures in Taiwan to interview.

At that point, Hsu Tzu-ching, who claimed to be a "legislator assistant" in Taiwan, approached Zhu and helped him contact multiple interviewees that he "never thought he could contact."

Helped by Hsu Tzu-ching multiple times thereafter, Zhu invited his friend Ding Tao (pseudonym), who worked for a mainland government agency, to Taiwan for a visit on the request of Hsu Tzu-ching.

Hsu Tzu-ching told Ding that she was planning to open a company in the mainland. She asked Ding to give her confidential documents in order to get an upper hand in her business, and promised Ding shares in her company.

Ding gave Hsu Tzu-ching five confidential files, for which he was sentenced to jail.

Mainland national security authorities said that Hsu Tzu-ching, whose real name is Hsu Yun-yuen, was also a Taiwan "Military Intelligence Bureau" spy who was active in multiple universities in Taiwan, looking for her prey using different identities.

Taiwan spy Hsu Yun-yuen Photo: Courtesy of mainland's national security authorities

Getting help in a strange land is fortunate, but sometimes there are traps.

Liu Feng (pseudonym), a mainland political science student, was approached by Chen Hsiao-Tzu when she went to Taiwan for a trip in 2012.

Chen was very generous, picking up Liu and her friends at midnight at a local station in Tainan and treated them to Taiwan delicacies.

"It seemed like he did not care about money. He did everything for us," Liu said.

Liu realized something was wrong and cut ties with Chen after the latter asked Liu to help him take photos at a mainland aviation show.

Chen, whose real name is Chen Tai-yu, was also a spy trying to incite mainland students to defect, according to data released by mainland national security authorities.

Taiwan spy Chen Tai-yu Photo: Courtesy of mainland's national security authorities

Main targets

A mainland national security official, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times that mainland students who study political science, economics or national defense-related majors are more likely to be targeted by Taiwan spies.

The spies expect the targeted mainland students to take important positions in the future, so that they can gain access to confidential files of the mainland.

The spies' requests might not involve confidentiality at first. But as they make more sensitive requests, they will threaten the students and force them to continue providing information, which are now confidential.

The number of similar cases is increasing following Tsai Ing-wen's assumption to office, the official said, noting that Taiwan spies are also targeting mainland students through the internet using chat applications, campus forums and recruitment websites.

Mainland national security authorities will be lenient with those students who plead guilty and repent, a staff member at the mainland national security authority told the Global Times.

Students should never ignore any threat to national security, stay vigilant and refuse any "free lunch," he said.

Newspaper headline: Warning about Taiwan spies

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