Taiwan’s top brass to face polygraph tests

The China Post news staff

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has started drafting new regulations requiring compulsory lie detector tests for military generals and middle-level officers holding sensitive positions as part of a plan to prevent possible leaking of intelligence to China or other nations, Kao Hua-chu, defense minister, told lawmakers that all military officers will have to take polygraph tests before going abroad, when staying in Taiwan on break, or after returning to Taiwan when serving out the terms for their overseas assignments in order to test their loyalty to the nation. Kao said on Monday that the MND will also revise the criteria and recruiting procedures as well as training and performance evaluation concerning personnel to be posted abroad so that they will not easily succumb to temptations. Other MND officials revealed that the ministry has recently completed lie detector tests for military officers dispatched overseas on March 1. The returning officers will also go through the same loyalty tests with no exception, they said. In addition, the tests will also be applied to officers promoted to the ranks of major general and lieutenant general as well as commanders in charge of missile troops and combat plans or operations, they said. One general at the MND who declined to be named said that Major General Lo Hsien-che eventually confessed that he had spied for China when taking the polygraph test. It would be highly difficult to lie to lie detectors, he said. Lo, 51, formerly served as head of the army’s telecommunications and electronic information department, was seduced into spying for China when posted in Thailand 2002-2005. He was arrested in January for further investigation concerning the worst security breach in decades.

It is widely believed that Beijing has continued infiltrating Taiwan’s defense systems despite stepped-up interchanges across the Taiwan Strait in recent years.