TAIPEI: The recent release of two Taiwanese and one mainland Chinese intelligence agents underscores the enhanced mutual trust between Taipei and Beijing, according to the Presidential Office.
In a written statement dated November 30, Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen confirmed that Col. Chu Kung-hsun and Col. Hsu Chang-kuo of the Military Intelligence Bureau under the Ministry of National Defense had been released by Beijing.
“President Ma Ying-jeou was very pleased with the development, and expects to see such demonstrations of goodwill continue for the benefit of the two sides,” Chen added.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Chu and Hsu were captured by mainland Chinese authorities in May 2006 in northern Vietnam and transported to Guangxi province in southwestern mainland China.
The two were first given life in prison, but later had their sentences commuted to 20-year terms. They are believed to be the highest-ranking Taiwanese officers imprisoned by Beijing for espionage.
The sources said the two men were released October 13 and flew back to Taiwan the same day. Meanwhile, Li Zhihao, who was sentenced to life in prison in Taiwan after being convicted of spying for Beijing, was released on parole the previous day after serving 16 years.
MND spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shao-he said the ministry has the highest regard and respect for the contribution and sacrifices of Chu, Hsu and their families.
“The MND will offer compensation to these individuals for their losses in accordance with the relevant law,” he said.