02/13/2008, 00.00
CHINA - TAIWAN - USA
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Chinese espionage steals U.S. information on the aerial defence of Taiwan

A Pentagon employee is believed to have sold "secret information" to a Taiwanese in contact with Chinese spies. The respective governments show caution as they study the situation.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) - It is feared that there is information on the aerial defence system for Taiwan and other technology provided to the island by the United States among the secrets ascertained in the U.S. by Chinese espionage.  The affair was made known two days ago, when the Justice Department in Washington revealed the arrest of Greg Bergersen, a defence systems expert at the Pentagon's Defence Security Co-operation Agency.  He is accused of selling "secret information" to Tai Shen Kuo, a Taiwanese naturalised in the United States who was arrested yesterday. Kuo, a New Orleans restaurateur, is thought to have passed the information along to Beijing through Chinese citizen Kang Yuxin, who has also been arrested.

This system, called "Bo Sheng", or "Broad Victory", is believed to be crucial for the defence of Taiwan against an attack by China, which maintains that the island is part of its own territory and has over 900 missiles aimed against it at all times.

In a press release, the Taiwanese defence ministry expresses "concern" over the theft of the secret information, and says that it is taking "appropriate measures".

The affair could have political consequences in Taiwan: on March 22, voting will take place for the new president of the country, and the outcome appears uncertain.  Shortly before the previous elections in 2000 and 2004, China had threatened the island and had carried out military exercises near it.  The new developments are thought to favour the victory of an anti-Beijing candidate.

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