Taiwan academic gets jail time for espionage

A mainland spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday that Tony Shih, a Taiwan academic, was sentenced to four years in prison for espionage by a district court in Anhui province.

Shih, 60, a retired associate professor at National Taiwan Normal University, has been reportedly collecting intelligence for the island authority for years through academic exchange activities on mainland.

He was sentenced to be deprived of his political rights for two years and confiscated of personal property worth 20,000 yuan (S$4,100) in the first trial, Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference in Beijing.

The court tried the case strictly in accordance with the law and fully guaranteed his litigation rights, she said.

Other Taiwan residents suspected of spying who have been detained by the mainland include Lee Meng-chu, director of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance (a “Taiwan independence” organisation), who was investigated for engaging in espionage work and intervening in Hong Kong affairs.

Cheng Yu-chin, a Taiwan scholar, established a think tank in the Czech Republic and used academic exchanges as a cover to spy on the Chinese mainland and gather intelligence, according to CCTV reports.


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