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Taiwan Spies

The Ching Cheong case fell off the radar screens after he was convicted and sent to a Canton  prison (to be near his family in HK); he was recently released on parole.

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Ching Cheong, the China bureau chief of Straits Times, was recently given a five year prison sentence by a Beijing court for spying for Taiwan. When he was first arrested more than a year ago, he was in Canton hoping to pick up a manuscript about the disgraced former Communist Party Secretary General Zhao Ziyang, and even now Ching Cheong's wife was convinced that the arrest was for the purpose of suppressing the publication of the book. This seems unlikely since there was no report of the writer of the book, assuming it exists, being in trouble. I believe the book was just a way to induce Ching to enter China.

Ching has been employed by ST only since 1996, and was not a Singapore resident, but has always been based in Hong Kong.  He was for 15 years with Wenweipo, a left wing paper, but left in 1989 after Tiananmen. After freelancing for some time, including short stints in Taiwan, he was employed by ST as its Taiwan correspondent but was later moved to the China desk.

The account of his alleged spying is a familiar one: he was approached by an economic research foundation to be consultant to provide analytical reports on mainland affairs using his "inside information and unique insights", drawing praises and remuneration which were probably more than the content justified. Many such organizations exist, some based in Taiwan itself but some nominally in US or HK, to front for Taiwan spying outfits. The initial requests are usually innocuous and are simply for relationship building; they later graduate to more sensitive material, using the high level contacts of the "consultant" in China.

From information available so far, Ching Cheong has not actually provided his clients with any national secrets, as the material he had access to had at least restricted distribution already; he was considered to be guilty merely because he continued to be associated with, and paid by, his client organization even after he became aware of its spy fronting status. In other words, the spying charge  probably would not have stood up in a western court of law. Obviously, things are more flexible in Asia.

interested to know where Isabelle Cheng Cheng Nian-Tzu(程念慈 is doing her PhD: here is a set of information from google - all public  

PDF] The weekly lecture schedule will be as follows:File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLTaught by Dafydd Fell (DF), Chang Bi-yu (CBY) and Isabelle Cheng (IC) ... Isabelle Cheng: Email: sabelle.nt.cheng@googlemail.com (Office hours by ...www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies/mataiwanstudies/46799.pdf -

SOAS: Centre of Taiwan Studies: EATS 200819 Apr 2008 ... and the Development of Taiwan's National Identity: A Case Study of Spouses from Southeast Asia and China , Isabelle Cheng (SOAS) ...
www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies/eats/eats2008/eats-2008.html - 25k - Cached -
Current Web Editors : Marketing : SOASCentre of Taiwan Studies. Simon Buller; Isabelle Cheng; Dafydd Fell; Daniel Mojahedi. Centres Office. Rahima Begum; Jane Savory ...www.soas.ac.uk/marketing/web/webeditors/index.html - 21k - Cached -

[PDF] Who Do We Think They AreFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLIsabelle Cheng. PhD Student, School of Oriental and African Studies. 20/04/2008. Summary. This paper treats national identity and ethnic awareness as a ...www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies/eats/eats2008/43182.pdf - - Related articles

SearchStudy of Spouses from Southeast Asia and China , Isabelle Cheng (SOAS). ... www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies/eats/eats2008/eats-2008.html - 25k - 2008-08-30 ...www.soas.ac.uk/utility/search.php?entqr=0&access=p&output=xml_no_dtd&sort...UTF-8&client...x... - 16k - Cached - Similar pages

13 Feb 2007

Just heard about a new case involving New Orleans Taiwanese immigrant Kuo Tai Shen (Guo Taisheng), a mainland chinese female employee in his furniture company (her salary actually came from his PRC paymasters) and a US defense official Bergeson, who was under the impression that Guo was working for Taiwan. It is rumoured that Guo's father in law was a well known Nationalist government army general.

A few years ago there was the case of Donald Keyser, a US State Department official already in the process of retirement, caught making a visit to Taiwan which he did not report to his employer as required to do so by State regulations. The might have seemed to be a small matter, but he went there to meet a woman called Isabelle Cheng, a Taiwan intelligence office employee posted to Washington DC, with whom he met regularly, including the last time at a high class restaurant in the DC suburbs at which her boss was also present. While he did not hand over official secrets, his liaisons violated rules and constituted serious crimes for a person in his position.

Cheng happens to be married to an reporter originally from UK, who for a number of years moved from location to location with her as she was posted by her employer. After the case broke she was transferred to Europe, but with her identity blown wide open her job became impossible, and she quit to do a PhD (and when she returned to Taiwan to sit for a scholarship exam, got chased down by sharp eyed reporters who had not been able to keep track of her in Europe.)