Chinese man indicted for espionage in Taiwan

2017/07/06 13:22:45 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
File photo taken from Zhou's Facebook page

File photo taken from Zhou's Facebook page

Taipei, July 6 (CNA) A Chinese man was indicted Thursday for violation of Taiwan's National Security Act after he was found to have attempted to bribe an official with money in exchange for classified information, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said.

The offense carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, and a fine of NT$1 million (US$32,735), but due to his confession, prosecutors have asked the court to hand down a more lenient ruling.

The indictment said that Zhou Hongxu (周泓旭), 29, from Liaoning Province and a graduate of Zhejiang University, enrolled in an MBA program at National Chengchi University in Taipei 2012-2016.

He returned to China last August before traveling back to Taiwan in February as a management investor.

Investigators found that he offered money to an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in exchange for information, but the official reported the matter to investigators, leading to his arrest in March.

The indictment said that Zhou took part in a cross-Taiwan Strait exchange program in Shanghai in 2014, where he became acquainted with a Chinese man surnamed Li (李), who was a secretary for a Chinese organization.

Li often asked Zhou over dinner to scout for Taiwanese serving in the military, police, foreign ministry or other influential figures, and to have them travel overseas to meet with Chinese officials, according to the indictment.

After Zhou's return to Taiwan in August, he invited an official working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs several times, offering the person at least US$2,500 per month in exchange for classified information and suggesting that the official make expenses-paid trips to Japan and other third countries to meet with Chinese officials.

After Zhou was detained in March, he initially denied the espionage accusations, but his attitude softened after being detained for four months, and he confessed.

(By Wang Yang-yu and Lilian Wu)
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