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Top man in Taiwan missile found dead in hotel room after heart attack

Written by Javed Iqbal

A top Taiwanese missile official was found dead in a hotel room on Saturday morning after suffering a heart attack, according to the country’s official Central News Agency (CNA).

Ou Yang Li-hsing was deputy director of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, which is owned by the Taiwanese military and is the Ministry of Defense’s research and development unit.

Taiwanese authorities said there were no signs of an “intrusion” at the hotel room in southern Taiwan where the 57-year-old died, according to CNA. He was responsible for overseeing various missile production projects.

Ou Yang’s family said he had a history of heart problems and also had a heart stent.

His death comes amid increased tensions between Taiwan and China after the President of the Parliament Nancy Pelosis visit to the island, which China considers part of its sovereign territory.

China has conducted live-fire military exercises near Taiwan as part of its response to Pelosi’s visit, which the Chinese government strongly condemned.

Ou Yang had taken up the role at the military research and development unit earlier this year as the organization aims to more than double its missile production capacity to around 500 by 2022.

This increase in production capacity is said to be in response to what Taiwan sees as a growing military threat from China. Chinese forces have conducted live-fire drills near the island following Pelosi’s visit.

Ou Yang was on a business trip to southern Pingtung County at the time of his death.

Taiwan’s Apple Daily reported on Saturday that Ou Yang’s staff knocked on his hotel room and when he did not answer, hotel staff opened the door and found him dead. Police attended the scene and reviewed security footage, but found no signs of a break-in.

Newsweek has asked the Taiwan government for comment.

On Friday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Chinese ships and warplanes had crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait as part of those exercises. The middle line is considered an unofficial buffer zone between China and Taiwan.

China also announced unspecified sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family over her trip to the island, while also saying the country was ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues, including climate change and the repatriation of illegal immigrants.

The United States, along with most other countries, does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent country, but successive US administrations have provided key support to the island, including arms supply.

Update 08/06/22 04:15 ET: This article was updated to include more information.

Taiwan rockets
Navy personnel walk past two U.S.-made Standard missiles on a destroyer during the annual Han Kuang Drill at Suao Naval Port in Yilan County on July 26, 2022.
SAM YEH/AFP/GETTY

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Javed Iqbal

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