China Thursday revealed detailed evidence behind the conviction and execution of two Chinese men who spied for Taiwan and stole missile secrets.
Wo Weihan, 59, a bio-scientist, was executed last Friday for passing information on the mainland's missile guidance systems to a group linked to intelligence agencies in Taiwan. Guo Wanjun, 66, a member of Wo's spy ring, was also executed last Friday.
The Global Times reported on Thursday that Wo started spying in October 1989, when he was a still a PhD candidate in Germany. Born in Heilongjiang province, Wo graduated from Harbin University in 1981, majoring in medical science, the report said.
After being awarded a master's degree by the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the government decided to send Wo to Germany and pay his PhD studies there between 1987 and 1991.
"In October 1989, Wo became a spy for Taiwan's intelligence bureau, and was initially paid $1,000 per month," the newspaper report said.
From the 1990s, Wo travelled many times between China and Europe, mainly focusing collecting information about the mainland's politics, economics, military, etc. In order to hide his real identity, Wo opened a pharmaceutical company, the Wohua Pharmacy, in Beijing, and gave himself the title "chair scientist" of the firm.
Wo gradually recruited others into his spy ring.
Guo who had participated in the design of a strategic missile, offered Wo "a lot of" information on the mainland's strategic missiles.
In his confession, Wo admitted that the intelligence agency in Taiwan had even formed a group to analyze information provided by Guo, and told him that the intelligence was mainly for the US, the Global Times reported.
According to the trial, Guo had given seven top secrets to the Taiwan agency through Wo, and got "tens of thousands of dollars and a watch" as a reward.
Wo got even more. The Taiwan military intelligence bureau gave him more than $400,000 and lent Wo's wife $300,000 to open a restaurant in Austria. Both Wo and Guo were arrested in 2005, and were sentenced to death in May last year for spying for Taiwan.
They lost their appeals on Feb 29 this year. The execution sparked resentment in some countries.
Several days before the execution, the US embassy issued a statement saying it was "deeply disturbed" by reports that Wo's execution had been approved. Just after the execution, the EU issued a statement, condemning it.
It said China had ignored repeated calls by the EU and several of its member states to defer it.
"China is governed by the rule of law, and Wo was a Chinese citizen. Evidence proved his crime," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
"The accusation against the Chinese judiciary is a direct interference in China's judicial sovereignty, it tramples on the spirit of the rule of law and undermines the basis for healthy development of bilateral talks on human rights," Qin said.