Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The ‘Spy Swap’ That Wasn’t

Those who were hoping that a recent prisoner exchange between Taiwan and China was a sign of warmer ties are deceiving themselves 

Two jailed spies for Taiwan’s Military Intelligence Bureau were returned to Taiwan in October after Taipei granted early parole to a Chinese spy in what some foreign media outlets described this week as a “spy swap” and a sign of further détente between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. As with the “historic” Nov. 7 summit between presidents Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore, international media are reading too much into this development and seeing connections that simply do not exist. 

The release and return to Taiwan on Oct. 13 of convicted spies Chu Kung-hsun (朱恭訓) and Hsu Chang-kuo (徐章國), after each had served more than nine years of a life sentence in Chinese prison, was indeed a first, as was the parole granted to Chinese spy Li Zhihao (李志豪). 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

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