Taipei seeks Australian help to investigate China Innovation Investment boss Xiang Xin and spouseBusiness | 2 Dec 2019 11:32 am
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office is hoping for help from Australia as it investigates the allegations of Wang William Liqiang, a self-proclaimed Chinese spy who is seeking asylum in Australia.
A Ministry of Justice official, who declined to be named, said the office has written a letter asking Australia to provide Taiwanese prosecutors with the transcript of Wang's comments given to Australian authorities on his role in influencing Taiwan, CNA reports.
The letter also asks for any information pertaining to China Innovation Investment Chief Executive Xiang Xin and his wife Kung Ching, whom Wang accused of being players in China's efforts to affect Taiwan's elections.
Prosecutors are also hoping that Australia will allow Taiwanese investigators to interrogate Wang through online video conferencing.
According to the ministry official, the letter will be handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be delivered to relevant agencies in Australia.
Because Taiwan and Australia have not signed a mutual legal assistance agreement, the odds that Canberra will meet Taipei's requests may not be very high.
Several questions have also been raised about whether Wang is in fact a genuine spy, and there has been no independent confirmation of his identity and the veracity of the allegations he has made.
Based on Wang's public statements that alleged China Innovation Investment was helping Beijing control Taiwanese media, however, Xiang and Kung were stopped for questioning by Taiwanese authorities as they were preparing to leave Taiwan on November 24.
Both were released after questioning, but prosecutors on Tuesday barred them from leaving the country pending further investigation into the case.
According to Taipei prosecutors, the Chinese couple has visited Taiwan several times in the past, and own two properties in Taipei's upscale Xinyi District, which they have since leased.
Before Wang appeared in public, the two were in Taipei to look at a potential investment opportunity related to property in New Taipei's Linkou District, prosecutors said.