Hundred fourth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2006 19:59:12 +0100)

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Intelligence profile: Taiwan


Portuguese sailors reached Taiwan in 1517, first naming the island Ilha Formosa, meaning Beautiful Island. Dutch traders claimed the island in 1624 as a base for Dutch commerce with Japan and the Chinese coast. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) administered until 1662. The first influx of migrants from China came during the Dutch period. In 1662, following a nine month siege, Ming loyalist Zheng Chenggong captured the Dutch fortress Zeelandia and Taiwan became his base. In 1683 Zheng's grandson submitted to Manchu (Qing Dynasty) control. From 1683 the Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan as a prefecture and in 1887 the island was made into a separate Chinese province. As settlement for losing the Sino-Japanese War, Imperial China ceded the entire island of Taiwan to Japan in 1895. Nationalist rule began in October 1945 after the end of World War II. On September 2, ROC troops were authorized to come to Taiwan to accept the surrender of Japanese military forces and military occupation on behalf of the Allied powers began when troops landed in Keelung. From the 1930s onward a civil war was underway in China between Chiang Kai-shek's ROC government and the Communist Party of China led by Mao Zedong. When the civil war ended in 1949, 2 million refugees, predominantly from the nationalist government, military, and business community, fled to Taiwan. In October 1949 the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) was founded on the mainland by the victorious communists; several months before, in December 1949, Chiang Kai-shek had established a "provisional" ROC capital in Taipei and moved his government there from Nanjing. The P.R.C. still considers Taiwan as a Chinese province. Many Taiwanese people however want to be independent from the P.R.C. In November 2004 a poll showed that 31% of the people want independence and 6% wants a reunification.


Country name : T'ai-wan (Taiwan), Republic of China (formerly Formosa)
Capital : Taipei
Administrative divisions : Fujian Province (many s mall island including Quemoy and Matsu) and Taiwan (the island of Taiwan and the Pescadores islands)
Taiwan is further subdivided into 16 counties (hsien) : Chang-hua, Chia-i, Hsin-chu, Hua-lien, I-lan, Kao-hsiung, Miao-li, Nan-t'ou, P'eng-hu, P'ing-tung, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan, T'ai-pei, T'ai-tung, T'ao-yuan, and Yun-lin;
5 municipalities (shih) : Chia-i, Chi-lung, Hsin-chu, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan;
2 special municipalities (chuan-shih) : Kao-hsiungand T'ai-pei. The provincial capital is at Chung-hsing-hsin-ts'un.

Military, security & intelligence

Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB)

The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) is a governmental, judicial, investigation agency "responsible for the investigation on violations against national security and interests, and matters concerning internal security." In 1998 and 2000 most of its national security duties were transferred to the NSB.

National Defense Council (NDC)

The Council serves as advisory body to the President

The National Security Bureau (NSB)

The National Security Bureau (NSB) was established on March 1, 1955, under the National Defense Council (NDC). In 1967 the NSB became a subsidiary of NDC's successor, the National Security Council (NSC). The police and the secret peace-keeping intelligence agencies were put under the control of the NSB. It also runs a number of SIGINT and code breaking facilities. The agency has six divisions:

The bureau was very powerful and much feared. Its headquarters, located at 110 Yangteh Boulevard of Yang Ming Mountain, a suburb of Taipei, was referred to as the "Mystical 110". The bureau was nicknamed "Taiwan's KGB". It further controlled administrative organizations such as the National Police Administration (NPA), the Exit and Entry Bureau (EEB), the Investigation Bureau of Justice Department; military agencies such as Taiwan Garrison Command HQ, General Political Combat Unit, Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) and Military Police Command (MPC); KMT organizations such as Social Work Committee, (Chinese) Mainland Maneuvers Committee and Overseas Maneuvers Committee. Things has changed and NPA and EEB now report to the Ministry of Interior while the MPC and MIB are under the Ministry of Defense.

Coordination Meeting for National Security Intelligence (CMNSI)

The Coordination Meeting for National Security Intelligence is a coordination body under the NSB for the intelligence community.

Chaired by the NSB director, the CMNSI oversees the national security and intelligence operations through four Coordination Meetings:

Coordination Meeting for

The CMNSI runs a number of major SIGINT sites including forward listening bases on the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu. In conjunction with the NSA and BND it also runs a major complex at the J3 SIGINT HQ at Shu Lin Kuo.

Military intelligence

The Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) is responsible for collection of operational military intelligence.

The counter-intelligence section (P4) of the General Political Warfare Department (GPWD) is responsible for counter-intelligence, psychological warfare, military information, military broadcasting, etc.

The tasks of the Military Police Command (MPC) include military policing, military intelligence collection, surveillance reporting of the situation within the military and security forces.

The Telecommunications Development Office (TDO) is responsible for military SIGINT collection.


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