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China directly interfering in Taiwan prez polls: Spy

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Taipei, Dec 6 (IANS) A self-confessed Chinese spy, who has fled to Australia, has stirred Taiwans presidential election campaign after he claimed that China was directly interfering in the island nations politics.

Wang Liqiang, 26, has claimed that he was assigned to meddle in the election as China’s intelligence agencies were trying to disrupt democracy, not only in Taiwan but also in Hong Kong, an allegation dismissed by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office as "nonsense", reports Efe news.

In a TV interview in Australia aired on November 23, Wang claimed that he worked for China Innovation Investment Limited (CIIL), which acted on behalf of Chinese intelligence.

He said he took orders from Xiang Xin, the CIIL CEO, and was asked to influence the campaign of the anti-China Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to sabotage her re-election.

He also claimed to have financed pro-China candidate Han Kuo-yu’s campaign, Tsai’s main rival.

CIIL is allegedly involved in the investment in dual usage of military and civil sectors, and its bank accounts served to transfer funds to people and organizations working for Xiang, according to media reports.

Wang’s allegations has sent shock waves through the island’s political class and especially influenced Han, who has categorically denied he received money from any pro-China outfit.

Xiang and his wife Gong Qing, the two executives of the investment firm, were detained on November 24 when they were allegedly trying to leave Taiwan.

An investigator told Efe news that the authorities had been following the two executives since they first arrived in Taiwan.

However, he said Wang was not likely an agent significant enough for Australia to take his claims seriously.

"The so-called information he talked about is mostly reported in Taiwanese media, including financing China’s preferred campaigns to topple Tsai’s re-election," he said.

"For a person to become a potential spy, one must have access to secret information within the military or the government. Wang does not seem to have those. And the real questions are why does Wang only name Xiang and his wife as if there were no other Chinese spies in Taiwan," he said.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau has sent its representatives to Australia to investigate Wang’s claims.

 

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