Asia-Pacific

Taiwan spy case: General Lo Hsien-che jailed for life

Lo Hsien-che pictured in 2008
Gen Lo Hsien-che is Taiwan's most senior officer accused of espionage since the 1960s

A Taiwanese army general has been jailed for life for selling military secrets to China.

Defence officials said Maj Gen Lo Hsien-che was recruited as a spy for China in 2004, while he was posted to Thailand as a military attache.

Prosecutors said he had confessed to the crime, so they had not sought the death penalty.

Gen Lo - the highest-ranking officer involved in espionage in decades - was arrested in January.

He was recruited by China while he was stationed in Thailand between 2002 and 2005.

Officials refused to give details of the secrets Gen Lo passed to Beijing, but local media reported he leaked information about a command, communications and control network that Taiwan was establishing with the US.

Taiwan's defence ministry said his activities harmed Taiwan's interests and security, and had a big impact on the military's reputation and morale.

At the time of his arrest, he was head of the military command's communications and information office.

Maj Gen Lo is the most senior Taiwanese officer accused of espionage since the 1960s when a vice-defence minister was arrested amid a crackdown on communist spies.

Taiwan and China have been governed separately since the end of the civil war in 1949.

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened to use force if the island ever moved to declare formal independence.

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