CCP Offered $15 Million to Taiwanese Pilot to Defect With US-Made Army Helicopter

Alex Wu
By Alex Wu
December 12, 2023China in Focus

A Taiwanese pilot was offered $15 million by communist China to land a U.S.-made CH-47 Chinook helicopter on a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) navy aircraft carrier.

The details were revealed in a Taiwan court on Dec. 11 as part of the largest communist spy ring case in the island nation in a decade. It involves 10 people, most of whom are Taiwanese active duty and retired military personnel.

The Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office said the Taiwanese army pilot, a lieutenant colonel with the surname Hsieh, was approached by Chinese spies in June.

According to the indictment, Taiwanese businessman Hsieh Bingcheng was recruited by Chinese communist regime’s military intelligence agency that offered him money and favorable business conditions when he was doing business in mainland China. He was instructed to build spy organizations for China in Taiwan that recruited military personnel to collect military and state secrets.

The businessman Mr. Hsieh approached Lt. Col. Hsieh and invited him to Thailand to meet with two senior officials of the Ministry of National Security of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

They promised to obtain Thai elite visas for the pilot and his family, and if a war broke out in the Taiwan Strait, China would help his family evacuate to Thailand.

They also offered Lt. Col. Hsieh a monthly payment of NT$200,000 ($6,355) on the condition that he defected by landing the CH-47 Chinook helicopter onto a PLA aircraft carrier.

Lt. Col. Hsieh planned to land the helicopter onto the PLA aircraft carrier Shandong when it approached the central line in the Taiwan Strait in a military drill on June 21. If he succeeded, the CCP would pay him $15 million reward and arrange for his wife and children in Taiwan to join him at a later date. According to prosecutors, the plot was foiled after a tip off. Lt. Col. Hsieh was arrested before he could implement the plan.

He and an army major were charged for leaking the national defense deployment and operational plans in multiple combat zones to CCP intelligence personnel through businessman Mr. Hsieh, as well as top defense projects and secret plans involving cooperation with the United States.

The Taiwan High Prosecutor’s Office indicted 10 people involved in the case on Nov. 27, seven of whom are active duty military personnel.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense Responds

The case went public when Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan—Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee invited the Ministry of National Defense to deliver a special report on it on Dec. 11.

Chiu Kuo-cheng, minister of national defense of the Republic of China (Taiwan), told lawmakers that those involved in the case are mostly army personnel. The case was filed in May after obtaining evidence and receiving an internal tip-off. The Ministry of National Defense and National Security jointly conducted a counterintelligence investigation and requested judicial authorities investigate.

Mr. Chiu said at a press briefing on the same day that the ministry has already conducted damage control, saying that “those involved must be dealt with according to the law,” and promised the military wouldn’t hide or cover up such cases.

“In recent years, the CCP has made many moves against Taiwan and recruited our people, which indeed has a major impact. However, the military has also strengthened its defense education, and many cases have been detected and handed over to the judiciary,” Mr. Chiu said.

Wu Minzhou and Zhong Yuan contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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