Taipei, Jan 9 (DPA) A group of retired Taiwan spies recently visited China, a newspaper reported Sunday, voicing concern that the trip might endanger Taiwan's national security.
Nineteen former intelligence officers flew to China Dec 4 for a five-day visit at the invitation of the municipal government of Jiangshan City, Zhejiang province, the China Times said.
The city invited them to visit the home of Dai Li, the spymaster of the Chinese Nationalist Government -- rival to the current communist regime -- and to discuss plans to renovate Dai's tomb.
The newspaper said that although China's intelligence officers did not meet with Taiwan's former spies, the visit was sensitive because 'spy war never ends'.
With the ease of cross-Strait tension, intelligence-gathering against Taiwan is now conducted through academic exchanges and commercial activities, the China Times said.
'China's invitation could be bait to launch counter-intelligence,' the paper warned.
Taiwan and China have been split since 1949 when the Chinese Nationalist Government lost the Chinese Civil War and set up its government-in-exile in Taiwan.
Since the late 1980s, tension has thawed with increased contacts across the Taiwan Strait, but China still regards Taiwan as its breakaway province and has vowed to recover the island by force if Taipei seeks formal separation from the mainland.