China has been fabricating reports about Taiwanese spies since Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday, dismissing another Chinese state media report about a man claiming to be a Taiwanese spy.
Taiwan did not have a diplomat named Lee Yun-peng (李雲鵬) in the Czech Republic’s capital, as a man identified as Cheng Yu-chin (鄭宇欽) claimed in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) that aired on Monday night.
Cheng was introduced in the CCTV current affairs program as a Taiwanese spy and claimed to have been an aide to former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰).
DPP spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) on Monday night said that Cheng had never been employed as Cho’s aide.
China had maliciously distorted the facts to the detriment of cross-strait ties, she said.
Cheng was enrolled in a doctoral program at Charles University in Prague in 2004 and became acquainted with Lee, who he told the program was the Taiwanese representative to the Czech Republic at the time.
Lee told Cheng he was working for the National Security Bureau, the program claimed.
Cheng founded a think tank called EU-China Economics and Politics, where he served as director, in hopes of gaining access to international organization meetings and collect intelligence, it said.
A Chinese security official said in the CCTV program that Cheng was arrested in April last year for spying in China since 2005.
Department of European Affairs Director-General Johnson Chiang (姜森) yesterday said that there is no diplomat named Lee Yun-peng in Prague and that most of the CCTV program’s content was fabricated.
Cheng was known for publicly promoting China’s Belt and Road Initiative and China-EU relations during his stay in the Czech Republic from 2005 to 2018, Chiang said.
However, China’s treatment of Cheng violated his human rights, he said, adding that the ministry would continue communicating with the Mainland Affairs Council to provide assistance if needed.
Chinese-Czech relations were not damaged by the so-called “Taiwanese spies,” but by Beijing’s “warrior wolf” diplomacy and bullying that have irritated Czech society, he said in answer to media queries.
CCTV on Sunday night aired its first report about so-called Taiwanese spies, with Morrison Lee (李孟居), who went missing after entering China in August last year, confessing on air that he had shot 16 videos and taken dozens of photographs of Chinese People’s Liberation Army exercises at a stadium in Shenzhen last year.
Last night, it aired a third episode, featuring another two alleged Taiwanese spies: Southern Taiwan Union of Cross-strait Relations Association chairman Tsai Chin-shu (蔡金樹) and retired National Taiwan Normal University professor Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), both of whom went missing after arriving in China in 2018.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said at the end of last year said that the two men were under investigation for breaching national security.
In related news, Chiang congratulated the Czech Republic for its democratic Senate elections.
Several of the elected senators were like-minded people with Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil, who led an 89-member delegation to Taiwan last month.
As the Czech Senate is to elect a new leadership and committee heads, the ministry would maintain contact with like-minded partners in the Senate to advance Taipei-Prague relations, he added.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Monday gave a recorded speech in English at the opening of Prague’s online 24th Forum 2000 Conference, with Tsai’s speech followed by Vystrcil’s.
On the final day of the forum today, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) is to further expand on Taiwan-Czech relations in a pre-recorded speech, Chiang said.
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