Taiwan accesses damage after US unveils Chinese espionage

Other News Materials 12 February 2008 23:19 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Taiwan said Tuesday it is trying to determine exactly what kind of classified information China may have received after four people were charged in espionage cases in the US that involved the passing of military secrets to the Chinese government.

"Regarding the news that the US has cracked a spy ring, we are taking it seriously. We have formed a taskforce to assess damage and to evaluate security control," Taiwan's Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The suspects arrested in two separate espionage cases Monday included an analyst in the Pentagon's office overseeing foreign military sales, Greg Bergersen, 51, and Dongfan "Greg" Chung, a 72- year old former Boeing engineer.

Bergersen allegedly provided documents detailing planned US military sales to Taiwan to an agent of the Chinese government. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of providing secret information to someone not permitted to receive it.

"All our arms purchases from the US are conducted directly with the ( US) Defense Department. As to if there has been security leaks on the US side, we have expressed concern and have taken counter- measures," Taiwan's Defence Ministry said.

Bergerson is believed to have provided information to Tai Shen Kuo, 58, a naturalized US citizen and New Orleans resident in the furniture business. A fourth individual, Yu Xin Kang, 33, also of New Orleans, has been charged with serving as the conduit between Kuo and the Chinese. The activities took place between January 2006 and February 2008.

Kang and Kuo face life sentences if convicted for passing classified US documents to a foreign government.

The United Evening News reported that Kuo may have passed to China vital information about Taiwan-US military contacts, especially Taiwan's purchase of communications and systems integration technology.

Taiwan has budgeted 5.3 million dollars to introduce the command, control, intelligence and surveillance systems.

The US is Taiwan's main arms supplier, although Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

The largest US arms sale to Taiwan was the sale of 150 F-16 A/B warplanes, approved by former president George HW Bush.

Taiwan is also seeking to buy 12 P3-C anti-submarine aircraft, eight conventional submarines, six PAC-III anti-missile batteries and 60 F-16 D/C jets from the US.