Home » Aviation » Accused Spy Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin Was a Trained Nuclear Specialist, Navy Congressional Liaison


Accused Spy Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin Was a Trained Nuclear Specialist, Navy Congressional Liaison

Then-Lt. Edward Lin speaking at 2008 U.S. naturalization ceremony in Hawaii. US Navy Photo

Then-Lt. Edward Lin speaking at 2008 U.S. naturalization ceremony in Hawaii. US Navy Photo

The naval flight officer accused by the Navy of giving secrets to China was a trained enlisted nuclear specialist prior to his time as a surveillance expert, USNI News has learned.

Before Lt. Cmdr. Edward Chieh-Liang Lin, 39, joined the small community flying the service’s most secretive aircraft, he was a sailor who enlisted in 1999. Following basic training, Lin attended the Navy’s nuclear training schools in Charleston, S.C. from March of 2000 to February of 2002.

Later that month, Lin was enrolled as a student in the Navy’s Officer Candidate School and commissioned on May 10, 2002, according to Lin’s official Navy biography obtained by USNI News on Monday.

There’s no evidence that Lin, originally from Taiwan, served as an enlisted nuclear specialist on a ship or a submarine before he attended OCS.

Following OCS, Lin spent two years moving through the Navy’s signals intelligence and aviation pipeline to reporting to his first operational deployment Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ‘World Watchers’ (VQ-1) at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. on June 30, 2004.

The World Watchers fly Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft that gather information on the capabilities of potential adversaries, Bryan Clark, naval analyst Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) and former special assistant to past Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told USNI News on Monday.

Sources told USNI News that Lin spoke fluent Mandarin and was one of the onboard analysts that would be able to provide commanders real-time assessments of what the team onboard the Aries II learned from their monitoring.

An EP-3E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft in 2006. Lin's job int he Navy was to coordinate the information gathered by the crew. US Navy Photo

An EP-3E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft in 2006. Lin’s job int he Navy was to coordinate the information gathered by the crew. US Navy Photo

Following his time with VQ-1, Lin was assigned to U.S. Pacific Fleet at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii as a staff aide from 2007 to 2009. During his time at PACFLT, Lin spoke at a U.S. naturalization ceremony about his dream as a child to eventually travel to America, according to a 2008 Navy release on the ceremony.

“Whether it is economical, political, social or religious reasons,” Lin said. “I do know that by becoming a citizen of the United States of America, you did it to better your life and the life of your family.”

In his speech, Lin said when he arrived at his first American school his Chinese name was so long and unpronounceable that he elected to go by the name of his mother’s dog — Eddy.

Following his time at Pearl, Lin served on the carrier USS Eisenhower (CVN-69) for a sea tour before attending the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. for two years, graduating in 2012.

Lin, far left, in the Pentagon during his tour as liaison to Congress

Lin, far left, in the Pentagon during his tour as liaison to Congress

Lin came to Washington, D.C. and served for a little under two years as the Congressional Liaison for the Assistant Secretary of Navy for Finance Management and Comptroller – the service’s chief civilian budgeting officer.

In 2014, Lin reported to the Special Projects Patrol Squadron Two ‘Wizards’ (VPU-2) at Marine Corps Air Base Kaneohe, Hawaii as a department head. The Wizards fly signals intelligence aircraft based on the EP-3E Aries II that for decades were classified as part of a so-called “black” or secret program. Lin was officially reassigned from the unit on March 25. The next entry in his official bio is the Naval Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, Va.

Sources told USNI News that Lin had spent eight months in pre-trial confinement before his Friday Article 32 hearing that outlined his charges that included instances of espionage, attempted espionage, adultery and prostitution.

What Lin Could Have Told China

Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin

Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin

While Lin had basic knowledge of the Navy’s nuclear power systems from his enlisted service, as well as the Navy’s budget practices, it was his time with the Aries II that would have been of the most interest to the Chinese.

“The stuff he knew as a nuclear power guy are engineering details that China could have obtained by other means,” Clark said.
“They would like to know the types of stuff a VPU guy would know.”

Damaging information to the U.S. would include, “What kind of Chinese systems they were looking for and listening to. Which ones were easier to detect and harder to detect what information did they gather and what did they assess from that information and what was the assessment.”

Lin position on the EP-3Es was that of a sensor coordinator – a supervisor that directed what the team on the aircraft were looking for, how to interpret the data and how to help guide military leaders on how to use the information, USNI News understands.

Knowledge of EP-3E operations and sensors — especially the specialized aircraft variants the Wizards flew -– would be critical to China to develop sensors that were harder for the U.S. to detect and could give the Chinese People’s Liberation Army an advantage in an all-out conflict.

“It’s mostly radars that they would be looking for,” Clark said.

The crashed EP-3 at Lingshui Airfield china on June 18, 2001. Lockheed Martin Photo

The crashed EP-3 at Lingshui Airfield china on June 18, 2001. Lockheed Martin Photo

In 2001, an EP-3E collided with a PLA Shenyang J-8 fighter off of Hainan Island in the South China Sea forcing the crew to land on Chinese soil.

China eventually returned the crew and the aircraft but not before it collected reams of data on how the aircraft and its crew did their jobs. The Hainan Incident likely prompted the Navy to retool much of how the EP-3Es did business and their equipment, Clark said.

Any edge of how the contemporary Aries IIs function could undo much of the work the Navy did to shore up its program following the crash at Hainan.

“That would be the kind of stuff I’m sure China that I would love to learn,” Clark said.

  • CuddlyCobra

    Execution!

    • Jonathan Starrett

      I second that. This guy came here as an immigrant, we gladly welcomed him, educated him, and gave him tremendous opportunities. And now this is how he repays his country…..

      • MichaelLust

        His country, evidently, is China.

        • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

          They call it the motherland. All these Chinese countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, half of Malaysia (40% are Chinese) and pretty soon Thailand (they just recruited 10k Chinese teachers) and about 4 million Americans of Chinese decent are always being prodded by China to pay homage to the motherland. They’ll always do something for the motherland. Those eyelids will remain unfolded forever.

          • On Dre

            I disagree that Asians are somehow more prone to commit espionage. If you look at the roll call of American traitors you will see Caucasians represented with great numbers. By the rules of your prejudice its the crackers we need to watch out for.

          • valheru9

            Please do not talk what you do not have knowledge of. You should read the problem Singaporean Chinese has with PRC Chinese. Don’t just spew hatred warmonger.

            Should these Chinese make you dream come true by supporting PRC? Talking about unfolded eyelids are you referring to Japanese, Koreans and Mongolians as well. Have a care with your words.

          • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

            Yes you are right. The Singaporeans does not like PRC. But Xi still considers Singapore as part of the Motherland because most are of Han Chinese decent.

          • valheru9

            PRC concentrate more on Malaysia and Thailand hence the investment in building port on both side of Malaysia peninsula as well as the rumoured Kra Canal.

            Singapore has shown that they do not take sides by hosting US LCS in Singapore itself.

          • Secundius

            And About As Much Homage as the American-Japanese show Imperial Japan in WW2…

          • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

            It’s a reality. The first few generations and the linkage is still strong. The Japanese have been around since the 1800’s but more so the first half of the 20th century to tend the agriculture fields of Hawaii and California. But a hundred years passes and they become tried and true Americans. There was a couple of thousand “Indios de Luzones” in the banks of the Mississippi River in the Acadiana area of Louisiana back in the 1860’s. Where are they now? They are assimilated in the society. 13 generations, you can’t track the linkage anymore. The same as the Hispanics of New Mexico. They’ve been there for a few hundred years but are just as Americans as anyone now with “a history of Spanish culture”. The Indios de Luzones are Filipinos from Acapulco via the Galleon trade who settled in the 1700’s south of the New Orleans area.

            What China is doing as it raises to the top economically and militarily is to consolidate and solidify its presence in the East and Southeast regions of Asia. It is trying to project that the Far East region could be united into one without the leadership of the US. Its obvious step is to lure the Chinese influenced countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and to a lesser extent the rest of Indochina (except for Vietnam which has had a bad history for over a thousand years).

          • John B. Morgen

            Vietnam was once a vassal during the bygone days of the Chinese emperors.

        • Jack Gamatta

          Excellent point.

    • Mex Net

      A real worm. Starve him to death.

      • Jack Gamatta

        Good idea.

      • Jack Gamatta

        Just occurred to me—the most horrible thing to do is make him sleep with Hillary for 6 months.He will kill himself on the first morning at the latest.

        • Mex Net

          Make him sleep with Ted Cruz … and YOU ! Ha ha !

          • Jack Gamatta

            Your mother liked it.

    • Bruce N. Wheelock

      I would agree, but the UCMJ doesn’t permit capital punishment in his case.

      Assuming that he is convicted by a general court martial, however, he should receive a dishonorable discharge and be sentenced to confinement for the rest of his natural life in the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kansas. Preferably in solitary confinement and with no visitor, mail, e-mail. or other communications privileges (on the grounds that any communications might be used to clandestinely compromise additional classified information).

      /Bruce/ [aka Slasher]
      DPC, USN (ret.)

  • Colin128

    It’s highly possible he’s wrongly imprisoned. Remember all these other times random Asian Americans were arrested for allegedly passing info, only to be PROVEN to be found innocent? There is definite x.enophobia in America where they still don’t see Asian Americans as American. I’d say better than a 50/50 chance this guy didn’t do anything. Innocent until proven guilty (unless you’re Asian in America I guess). Put the Asian American citizens in internment camps but don’t do anything to German or Italian Americans during WWII… the same old story again

    • Chawn Crawley

      Apologists lost the high ground a very long time ago…

    • FactOverEmotion

      Have you been drinking?

    • VJ-DJ

      Actually, there were more Germans in the internment camps than Japanese. The relocation camps were primarily Japanese. And plenty of Germans and Italians were visited by the FBI, etc. And I found out most of this on a PBS documentary (PBS leans left as you know).

      • Jack Gamatta

        Knew there were Germans and Italians were in the camps but did not know in such great numbers.Im a dago can I get cash reparations and an apology from Hussein???

    • Gingerbeard Man

      You are completely off base here. He served in the US military since 1999, and as an officer, so your idea of Asian Americans being less American is ridiculous. The military doesn’t lightly accuse someone of espionage.

    • Jonathan Starrett

      I fully agree with the sentiment- Innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, no one is calling for internment camps. Let the facts come out in court, and if the evidence supports it, I hope he gets very severe penalties.

      • Jack Gamatta

        Innocent until proven guilty is not a sentiment it is a legal presumption.Very big difference.

        • Jonathan Starrett

          don’t you lecture me you asshole. I never called for mob mentality. I never said I blindly trust the gov’t investigators or prosecutors involved in the case. however, I do put great weigh in the DoD legal process, and feel that they would be damn sure of the facts in the case, before bringing any formal charges. I fully agree, this man is due his day in court, and the legal process has to proceed, fairly and impartially.

          • Jack Gamatta

            Hostile are we.I suggest you see a good psychiatrist.I was simply pointing out a difference between 2 words most dont actually catch.
            Never were military either I see.

          • Jonathan Starrett

            always have to get the last word in, huh? well good day, good sir. and may our paths never cross again. your words were an insinuation towards a position that I do not hold. so I believe I have every right to respond forcefully when I find that others seem to have ulterior motives in twisting my own words, perhaps only for their own amusement. but I won’t digress further.

          • Jack Gamatta

            OK

    • Nachopinion

      That idea does have a spirit of truth, but it isn’t going to be absorbed the day this story is ran. No one is going to feel bad for this guy…People barely remember Cecil the Lion anymore and you expect them to reason with this based off of shame from WW2? No Beuno

    • Jack Gamatta

      That is not how the military acts.They have serious proof of his activities.You are showing racial prejudice by arguing for innocence based on prejudice with only your opinion and no facts.
      True liberal logic….all minorities in US are victims.

      • Jay

        So the whites in America like you got an early start on that minority/victimhood status?

        • Jack Gamatta

          The schools and military compete for oriental people.Ever notice the largest number of people in engineering and other technical areas are generally Chinese?? Thats because they are among the most intelligent groups there are..
          Your post really makes no sense.

    • Jack Gamatta

      There is no such thing in our legal system as proven found innocent.You are either guilty or not guilty.Never are you found innocent.Not guilty frequently just means you probly did it but we cant prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.Your views are racist in that you slant positively towards the guy is getting charged because he is Asian.Positive or negative views based on race alone without supporting hard data is racism.You offer no hard data to support your unsupported opinion about racist occurrences thus your opinion is based on race ie your stereotypical view of races.
      PS if the Navy is racist why was this man able to go from enlisted man to officer and make Lt Commander so quickly.The first and second specialty schools he went to are highly selective.This guy was a hot shot on his way up.

  • David C. Jones

    At least they caught him before they made him an admiral. Clearly, he was on an upward arc.

  • VJ-DJ

    An important point seems missed here by everyone. Several actually. Most Taiwanese do not particularly like mainland China, although most want to get along
    with them. The main language in Taiwan is Fukien/Hokkien (excuse any
    misspelling). I think actually the Hokkien version of Chinese. Yes. Many
    Taiwanese know some Mandarin, but either this guy went out of his way
    to be fluent in Mandarin Chinese or they got some facts wrong. So for a
    member of a family from Taiwan to not only embrace Mandarin, but the
    mainland Chinese themselves (who have threatened Taiwan many times), is
    quite unusual.

    • Rod Logsdon

      I also thought it was strange that a native Taiwanese was fluent in Mandarin.

      • valheru9

        They are fluent as the Mandarin is their official language.

    • Wolfie

      If that is true then I would say the Navy prolly didn’t do much homework on the guy because they were desperate for Mandarin translators. Imagine how perfect he must have seemed not being Chinese & speaking fluent Mandarin? AND most tiawanese dislike China so who better to trust. A real golden goose! Instead of questioning why he was so fluent in the first place. If it seems to good to be true it usually is. That alone IMHO should have prompted them to investigate him to the absolute fullest, which is my guess they prolly did exactly the opposite cutting every corner to fast track him to right where the Chinese wanted him, he could have been sent here by China from the get go and not even tiawanese. I am sure falsified tiawanese documents must be very difficult to come by for any Chinese spy🕵 ….. Lol I do believe he’s innocent till he’s proven guilty however.

      • Jack Gamatta

        You exhibit an incredible lack of knowledge of the military.They well know their job is to fight,kill and maybe die in service to the USA.Why on God’s green earth would they not be careful in selecting people and checking them out thoroughly for critical positions???You are thinking in civilian employment terms.

    • Sugarsail1

      you are correct, I used to work in China and Taiwan quite frequently. I’ve personally witnessed industrial tech espionage and reverse engineering of American tech by the Chinese. They spy a LOT. The Taiwanese think of themselves as separate from China but the Chinese hate this and insist otherwise. Maps in China show Taiwan as their country, maps in Taiwan show the island as separate. I suspect this spy was bred by the Chinese mainland from an early age to infiltrate American Military via Taiwan as they know we would never recruit a mainland Chinese person into our most secret military.

    • Joe W Jackson Jr.

      Actually I was in Taipei just two years ago. They all spoke Mandarin. Even one of my best friends took a Mandarin language course to further his job opportunities there. It may be different outside the city, as far as language goes. But one thing is for sure, the majority of the population dislike China and Chinese. They find them loud, rude and don’t want them coming to Taiwan to take their jobs.. I travel to HK a lot also. The people are very pushy and loud. Its just how they live. In Taiwan tho, the people are right the opposite. They are the most courteous people I have ever meet in my life and I have traveled the world.

      • Secundius

        I was Born in Taiwan, and Both Parents were American Diplomats. For 5-years, I spoke “Hokkien” (Taiwanese Local Speak)…

        • Fuankio So

          We call it Taigi or Taiwan-oe, whereas Singaporean and Malaysian call it Hokkien. Anyways, if US move base from Okinawa to Taiwan then the Chinese diaspora worldwide will understand. The Chinese do not want war with US so by having US base on Taiwan you actually do the Chinese a big favour by getting rid of their obsession and anxiety.

          • Secundius

            I was Unaware that there Even Was A US Military Base in Taiwan? I thought Taiwan was Like Hong Kong, a Port of Call Port for “I&I” (Intercouse and Intoxication)…

          • Fuankio So

            Port Call in Taiwan, even diplomatic recognition will likely merely upset the Chinese and doesn’t solve the fundamental problem I hinted at. Yes US had bases in Taiwan until the late 70s when US strategic thinkers had big dreams of China one day becoming an ally like Germany or Japan. Come to think of it, if China is to become US ally, then why the heck would they need Taiwan for anyways? The whole point of annexing Taiwan is precisely to kick you out of the Western Pacific.

          • Secundius

            The PRC like Israel are “Allies”, In Name Only. When THEY want something from US (the USA) there ALLIES. When THEY Don’t, There NOT…

          • Fuankio So

            oh dear. the Middle East looks like a Mexican standoff. I can’t possibly comprehend to even make further comments..

          • Secundius

            The PRC PLAN has Naval Basing Rights in Haifa Harbor Israel and Have been Caught Spying for the PRC at least Twice by the FBI since 1992, And Spy for Russia since 1985. In Russia case it is for the Better Treatment of Jews living in Russia. As for the PRC, Unclear at this time…

          • Fuankio So

            Hmm. Some of us in Taiwan are sorta aware the Israel may have helped China with developing their AEW aircraft and/or J10 fighters. I’m not sure of the motive. Or maybe Israel is just sympathetic toward China? Maybe Israel don’t want US to divert any of its attention away from the middle east? Israel out of self interest prefers East Asia dominated by China. Israel is against US “pivot to Aisa” maybe.

          • Secundius

            One Speculation is the Vela Hotel Incident of 22 September 1979. Israel and South Africa and Possibly Two or Three other Countries. Pulled their Resources together to Develop Nuclear Weapons. The 22 September 1979 TEST was Captured by an American Surveillance Satellite called “Vela Hotel” (hence the Naming). It was a Double Flash Explosion on Prince Edward Islands and Possible Crozet Islands (both Control by South Africa). Other Partners are believed to be South Korea and Taiwan. The Fifth (?) is the Complete Unknown, if they even exist at all…

    • Mike Moscoe

      If I recall, many ROK personnel fled China when Mao took over. Taiwan has had two cultures, the Han Chinese that fled the Red Chinese Army, and the Taiwanese who didn’t like the Japanese when they occupied the island any more than the ROK. His parents may be Han. Still, it’s strange for him side with the PRC. We’ll need to wait and see what motivation he admits to.

      • Chris Cheng

        True. My paternal grandfather fled from the communists and the advancing Japanese. Being an ABC with parents from Taiwan and grandparents from China, it’s really hard to find an identity to hold on to. On one hand, the overwhelming majority of young Taiwan students (many of which I have personally talked to) argue that Taiwan is its own country. On the other hand, many older-generation still have family on the mainland. If anything, this Taiwan-China debate is a political quandary.
        Also, I think you mean ROC (Republic of China) whereas ROK would be Republic of Korea. But definitely, we have to see what’s Lin’s reason for passing secrets out.
        Lastly, I really hope that this case will not hinder my chances or any other American-born Taiwanese/Chinese students from applying to become U.S military officers. Diversity in the military is good but I’m not sure if I would want to serve if the U.S government is going to wiretap my phones and track me everywhere I go…

        • Secundius

          One way to Resolve the Problem, would be for the USA to Actually Recognize Taiwan as a Sovereign Independent Nation with FULL Diplomatic Status. Instead of Lip-Service and a Consulate Recognition…

          • Chris Cheng

            That would be great, but it seems too idealistic. Officially recognizing Taiwan as R.O.C will anger China and result in a host of political and economic problems. The U.S government has to tread a fine line that neither acknowledges Taiwan as an official state nor flat-out states to China that Taiwan is a P.R.C province. A great resource that I recommend is “Why Taiwan Matters” by Shelley Rigger. To Mr. Moscoe: Yes, I agree. We will need more perspectives.

          • John B. Morgen

            We should recognize Taiwan as an independent nation-state, and establish military bases as [trip wires], so keep the Chinese military from taking military action against the island state. It is time to show China that the United states has a backbone. let’s face it, our relations between us and the China have been going south since the Bush the Younger’s administration, and now with the South China Sea island issues; furthermore, China has not really done anything about stopping North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. We’d really have nothing to lose, but we [should] do the right thing—recognize Taiwan as an independent nation-state.

          • John B. Morgen

            It’s long overdue, and we should recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation-state, which would be a profound statement to China. Or we could use it as as linkage for manoeuvreing to resolve the South China Sea issues. Or just do just do it, so we could illustrate that the United States has a [back bone].

        • Mike Moscoe

          Sorry, Chris, I did mistype when I meant ROC. I can understand your search for roots, my dad was Navy and we moved every two years. You have it much worse. The older folks in Taiwan I think fall into the native born Taiwanese and the refugees from PRC who’s ROC ruled for many years before the Taiwanese wrestled political power from them. This situation is beyond strange to me for the officer to be selling data to both PRC and Taiwan. Crazy, or just the money? I wish you luck in your desire to serve the US government. We need more perspectives than we have if we’re to figure out the world.

  • Brent

    Hang him. China is our most probable opponent in a major war, as was the USSR when the Rosenbergs gave secrets away. They received the death penalty and so should he. The trust he betrayed as an officer of the US Navy has put every member of our military at greater risk.

    • I.am.ChiNoy

      His ex-comrades in the military are fuming with anger.

  • James Bowen

    There has not yet been a trial or legal establishment of guilt, meaning
    we don’t know what all the facts are in this case yet. If he is guilty
    of these charges, however, it would be one of many testimonies against
    the wisdom, and testimony for the lack thereof, of our immigration
    policies. I have no doubt that most immigrants serving in the U.S.
    military are loyal citizens or loyal aspiring citizens. However, when
    we bring in so many immigrants each year and recognize the children of
    illegal aliens and temporary workers who happen to be born in the U.S.
    as citizens, to the point where 1 out of every 8 people living in the
    U.S. is foreign-born or the offspring of foreign-born, it should not be a
    surprise that some of them are going to have divided and questionable
    loyalties.

  • Middle

    Hold him in a concrete cell, court martial him, and if found guilty, hang him.

    • RobM1981

      Funny how we have to remind people that this is the process. How far we have come.

      If he’s innocent, he walks. If he’s guilty, he swings. This isn’t a game…

  • Rich Damm

    Hi everyone. I am a humbled USN Submarine Veteran and now an armchair admiral. I just read. copied and pasted the below paragraph from Wikipedia. We are obviously on somewhat good relations with Taiwan. This seems like a crazy relationship with Taiwan. How did this foreign national ever become enlisted and pass background checks to enter our nuclear power program? It baffles me.

    On December 16, 2015, the Barack Obama administration announced that a deal to sell $1.83 billion worth of arms to the ROC Armed Forces, a year and eight months after U.S. Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2014 to allow the sale of Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates to Taiwan. The deal would include the sale of two decommissioned U.S. Navy frigates, anti-tank missiles, Assault Amphibious Vehicles, and FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, amid the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.[15][16] China’s foreign ministry had expressed its disapproval for the sales and issued the U.S. a “stern warning”, saying it would hurt China–U.S. relations.[17]

  • RobM1981

    This just keeps getting better, doesn’t it…? Ugh

  • John Faria

    I remember reading the book Breaking the Ring. This is close to that. John Walker was born here, even tried getting his daughter as a spy, did succeed with his son. God help USA.

  • John B. Morgen

    What information did he gave to the Chinese?

  • Alain

    I thought the basis of legal proceeding in the US was that you’re innocent until proven guilty? The hearing just start but some here who apparently have no clue about asia already make the verdit on assumption. I’m netheir american or asian, just a european living in Asia for a long time

  • Fuankio So

    Taiwanese here. Frankly speaking, there is a fat chance that this man did indeed spy for China, since even in Taiwan we are literally having an outbreak of turncoats. Whether a person was born in Taiwan is not a good indication of his political leaning (hence his willingness to spy for China). In fact, even a US-born person of Chinese descent, regardless of his personal tie to Taiwan or to the KMT, may very well be very sympathetic toward China due to his/her being staunchly anti-Taiwan Independence or anti-Japan views. Rule of thumb / good starting point is to check whether a he is anti-Taiwan independence. Of course nothing is 100% so still do other checks.