Retired Taiwan general charged with spying for China: media

A retired Taiwanese lieutenant general has been charged with spying for China in the latest of a string of espionage cases to shock the island, according to media reports today.

Chen Chu-fan, a former vice chief at the Military Police Command allegedly collected intelligence on Taiwan's military and political situation and handed his findings to Beijing, according to the country's FTV news channel.

Chen is also alleged to have recruited a retired military intelligence officer to help him gather information for China, the channel said, citing indictment papers.

Prosecutors were not immediately available for comment, while a defence ministry spokesman confirmed that no active serviceman was implicated in the case. Taiwan and China have spied on each other ever since they split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Beijing still regards] the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. Taiwan has been hit by a string of spying scandals in recent years, reflecting the fact that intelligence gathering has continued despite warming ties with China. Earlier this month, a former Taiwanese air force lieutenant colonel received 12 life sentences for spying for China for a reported payment of USD 269,000. In 2011, an army general and chief of an intelligence unit was sentenced to life for spying for China in one of the island's worst espionage scandals.

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