LOOPHOLE CLOSED: Legislators sponsored changes to the Criminal Code to extend penalties for espionage to Chinese nationals and residents of Hong Kong and Macau
Date: May 08, 2019
By: Sean Lin / Staff reporter
Lawmakers yesterday stiffened penalties for people who leak state secrets and approved
amendments to ensure that Chinese spies face the same punishment as Republic of China (ROC) citizens who commit “offenses against the external security of the state.”
The Constitution defines China as a territory of the ROC and the Criminal Code stipulates penalties for ROC citizens who collude with “foreign nations or personnel they dispatched,” so the same penalties could not be applied to Chinese spies, said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), an amendment sponsor.
As a result, spies from China are only handed light sentences under special laws, Wang added.
In the largest case involving a Chinese spy, People’s Liberation Army intelligence officer Zhen Xiaojiang (鎮小江) came to Taiwan and persuaded more than 10 military officers to collude with him, but was only sentenced to four years in prison, Wang said.