A Chinese mainland spokesperson on Saturday urged Taiwan to stop carrying out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland after authorities cracked more than 100 cases involving spies from Taiwan who duped students from the mainland into sharing confidential information with them.
The national security authorities have launched a special operation against Taiwan spies' intelligence theft, infiltration and sabotage activities targeting the mainland, said An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
"We demand the relevant sides stop carrying out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland immediately, and protect the increasingly complex and grim cross-Strait relations from further damage," An said.
Thunderbolt 2018 crackdown
The Thunderbolt 2018 Crackdown carried out by the mainland national security authorities has led to the identification of more than 100 espionage cases, Chinese national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.
Taiwan "intelligence agencies" have been building a spy network to infiltrate the mainland using different means including bribery and sexual temptation, the report claimed.
A CCTV program revealed the details of some cases in which mainland university students visiting Taiwan were tricked into providing sensitive information and documents to local "intelligence agencies."
In one case, a mainland mechanical engineering student identified as Zhe (pseudonym) said he had been approached by a woman from Taiwan in 2011 when he was an exchange student at I-Shou University.
The woman became close with Zhe, and expressed romantic interest in him after he returned to the mainland.
Zhe said the woman began asking him to provide theses and reports on a key national research project he was part of. He became suspicious of her, and tried to end their relationship, but she started to blackmail him.
Under pressure, Zhe provided hundreds of research data related to national defense and was paid 45,000 yuan (6,500 US dollars) until the woman was exposed by mainland intelligence services in 2014, the CCTV show said.
In another instance, a mainland student surnamed Lu (pseudonym) was approached by a young man when attending a seminar in Taiwan in 2014. After knowing Lu had access to confidential documents, the man asked the student to do research for him in exchange for money.
Lu then helped him collect information on aeronautics from published academic magazines and journals, and was paid 15,800 yuan, roughly 2,300 US dollars.
According to the national security agency, the man from Taiwan was a spy with the Taiwan Military Affairs Bureau, who was in contact with other mainland students for further espionage missions.