China has accused intelligence agencies of Taiwan of manipulating students in order to steal intelligence with the aim of “infiltration” and “sabotage.”
A series of programs on Chinese state-run media said Chinese students studying in Taiwan are said to be targeted by domestic spies who lure them with money, love and friendship.
“(The Taiwanese spies) use money, love, seduction and internet hook-ups to develop spies into mainland China and build the espionage network ... It is extremely vicious to use students for espionage,” claimed the state-run China Daily.
The state media daily then laid out one example in which an 18-year-old Chinese student in Taiwan became an informer after she got into a sexual relationship with a Taiwanese spy.
“The authorities said that, over three years, the student provided (the spy) with about 100 pieces of information on science and technology related to national defense and was paid about 45,000 yuan,” added the state media.
The claim was later highlighted in six different Chinese media outlets, including print and TV media.
Taiwan has denied the allegations and said they were hypocritical.
“Aside from strengthening its internal control requirements, China has also continually extended espionage activities beyond its borders. Taiwan calls on China to rein itself in from this precipice as quickly as it can. Otherwise it will produce an even more unfavorable impact on cross-strait relations,” said Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council.
Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China (ROC) and it lies off China’s southeastern coast.
Since 1949, tensions have simmered between the two over the former’s status because Beijing claims the island nation as part of its territory.
However, Taiwan, which has its own constitution, armed forces and a democratic set-up (in stark contrast to the autocratic communist regime in Beijing), argues it’s more of a self-governing, independent state — a notion that China strongly resists.
China’s hostility toward Taiwan has risen since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, in 2016.
It suspects Tsai wants to push for formal independence, which would cross a red line for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, although Tsai said she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace.
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