On visits to Taiwan, Xie Xizhang pretended to be a Hong Kong businessman for more than 20 years. He is now suspected of having a second mission: to recruit spies for China. According to public documents charging the couple of espionage, Xie contacted a senior retired Taiwanese military officer, Chang Pei-ning, during a meal during one trip in 2006.
According to the files, Chang would become one of Xie’s agents, assisting him in penetrating Taiwan’s active military leadership as part of a long-running Chinese plan to recruit serving and retired military personnel to form a spy ring.
According to a Reuters assessment of court documents and stories from Taiwan’s official news agencies, at least 21 serving or retired Taiwanese officers with the rank of captain or higher have been convicted of espionage for China in the last decade.