A senior Taiwanese official who was in charge of supervising the island nation’s massive ramp up of missile production has been found dead in a hotel room in a southern part of the country.
Ou Yang Li-hsing, deputy head of Taiwan defense ministry’s research and development unit, was found dead Saturday morning, according to state media.
Ou Yang, 57, was on an official trip to the southern county of Pingtung when he died.
Ou Yang was overseeing the military-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology’s work in doubling its production of missiles to 500 per year as the island nation prepares for a possible invasion in the coming years from Communist China.
After news broke of his death, reports said that he had officially died of a heart attack and that he had a history of heart problems.
Ou Yang’s death comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taiwan this week to show that China could not isolate the island, which it falsely claims as its own, from the rest of the world.
Pelosi’s visit to the island came despite threats from Chinese government and military officials, including a Chinese propagandist at a state-run news organization who effectively threatened that China could shoot down Pelosi’s plane.
The Washington Post published an op-ed from Pelosi shortly after she landed on the island that explained her reason for going.
Pelosi noted that under the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. vowed to support defending Taiwan and that the act said that the U.S. would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means … a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States.”
“Today, America must remember that vow. We must stand by Taiwan, which is an island of resilience,” Pelosi wrote. “In recent years, Beijing has dramatically intensified tensions with Taiwan. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has ramped up patrols of bombers, fighter jets and surveillance aircraft near and even over Taiwan’s air defense zone, leading the U.S. Defense Department to conclude that China’s army is ‘likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with the PRC by force.’”
“The PRC has also taken the fight into cyberspace, launching scores of attacks on Taiwan government agencies each day. At the same time, Beijing is squeezing Taiwan economically, pressuring global corporations to cut ties with the island, intimidating countries that cooperate with Taiwan, and clamping down on tourism from the PRC,” Pelosi added. “In the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) accelerating aggression, our congressional delegation’s visit should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom.”