Friday, May 23, 2014

A Defection to China and the Threat to National Security

A leading expert on remote sensing technology from Taiwan now works for an institute in Beijing with possible ties to the People’s Liberation Army 

More bad news for Taiwan’s intelligence community today, with confirmation that an expert on remote-sensing technology has defected to China. This latest in a long series of leaks highlights the immense challenge this nation faces in keeping secrets from China, and is a reminder that despite rapprochement, Beijing’s efforts to recruit individuals with access to sensitive information are continuing. 

According to reports published on May 23, Chen Kun-shan (陳錕山), the head of the Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research (CSRSR) at National Central University (NCU) since 2001 and one of the nation’s top researchers, went missing sometime in September 2013. Chen attracted the notice of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) in September after it was discovered that his passport had an exit stamp but did not have one for re-entry, leading to suspicions that he may have been traveling on a foreign passport. The previous month, Chen had sent wife and children to the U.S. NCU suspended him in November, a decision that awaits final approval by the Ministry of Education. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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