Samurai sword attack outside Taiwan presidential office
Samurai sword attack outside Taiwan presidential office
The Taiwanese man who was arrested at the scene said he was expressing his political views and had stolen the sword from a nearby history museum, police told AFP.
The presidential office in the center of the capital Taipei is the headquarters of Taiwan’s Beijing-skeptic President Tsai Ing-wen.
Relations with Chinese authorities have deteriorated since she took office last year as she has refused to agree to Beijing’s stance that Taiwan is part of “one China.”
The island is a self-ruling democracy, but Beijing still sees it as part of its territory to be reunited.
The attacker “took a hammer and smashed a display case in a history museum to steal a samurai sword,” a police official working on the incident, who did not want to be named, told AFP.
“A Chinese national flag was found in his backpack. He said he wanted to express his political stance by going to the presidential office,” the official said.
The man, identified by police only by his family name Lu, attacked the officer as he tried to stop him entering the complex from a side gate, said presidential spokesman Alex Huang.
Lu, 51, is currently being questioned by police. He is unemployed and has no prior criminal record.
The injured guard is in a stable condition after being rushed to hospital for treatment to a wound to his neck, Huang said.
Defense minister Feng Shih-kuan condemned the violence and praised the 24-year-old guard for bravely stopping the attacker.
The incident came as the presidential office hosted a family event for its staff, including their children.
“This was an open house event and I can’t imagine what the outcome would have been if he were to get in with the sword,” Feng told reporters.
TV footage showed Lu being carried away by four officers and put inside a police car at a side entrance to the presidential office, which has been cordoned off since the attack.
Local media reported that he had repeatedly left pro-China messages in comment sections online, including praise for the Liaoning, China’s only aircraft carrier.
The sword he used is carved with the words “Nanjing battle, 107 people killed,” according to a photo released by police.
An employee at the Armed Forces Museum, from which Lu stole the sword, said it had been used by the Japanese military in the massacre of residents of the Chinese city of Nanjing in 1937.
The presidential office complex and its surroundings have been the target of attacks before.
In November 2014 a driver tried to smash his vehicle into the front door of the nearby presidential residence, saying he was protesting the health policies of Tsai’s predecessor Ma Ying-jeou, who was in power at the time.
In January 2014 a man drove his truck through a bullet-proof screen and into the main gate of the presidential office, saying he was protesting over a judicial hearing involving his ex-wife.
There were no injuries from either incident, apart from one of the drivers who was hurt.
Indian cancellation of defense equipment orders hurts investor sentiment: Experts
- New Delhi scrapped a $500 million deal for Israel’s Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile. Israel had agreed to transfer the technology to India, and had set up a factory in a venture with an Indian company
- Modi wants the country to decrease its reliance on foreign firms, reduce its import bill and manufacture equipment in-house
NEW DELHI: The Indian government’s penchant for canceling or withdrawing tenders for defense equipment at the last minute is likely to hurt investor confidence in the country, experts said on Sunday.
New Delhi called off a $9 billion deal to co-develop with Russia a next-generation fighter aircraft, after the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) said it would do the job in-house, Indian media reported this week.
Under the deal, a significant amount of the research would have been carried out in India. Russia had agreed to tailor the aircraft to Indian needs, and was to hand over all the technology, the Economic Times reported.
India is the world’s largest importer of defense equipment, and imports at least 90 percent of its equipment, including parts for assembly.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the country to decrease its reliance on foreign firms, reduce its import bill and manufacture equipment in-house.
But India lacks much of the high-end technology needed for such equipment, which is why deals where foreign partners agree to share technology are useful for its long-term plans, experts say.
When such deals are canceled, “it greatly reduces confidence in India,” said Saurabh Joshi, editor of StratPost Media Pvt Ltd., a defense news website.
“We can’t willy-nilly… accept arguments that a particular equipment can be developed and produced indigenously before such tenders are withdrawn,” he added.
“There should be an adequate test to develop and produce indigenously. Otherwise, we’re simply postponing an acquisition process by 10 to 15 years, and it’s the armed forces that have to go without critical equipment until then.”
Experts say one reason for the government canceling orders could be a lack of funds. The Russian deal is not the only one to be jettisoned recently.
New Delhi scrapped a $500 million deal for Israel’s Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile. Israel had agreed to transfer the technology to India, and had set up a factory in a venture with an Indian company. The reason given for the cancellation was the same: To develop the missiles indigenously.
A tender was also withdrawn for short-range surface-to-air missiles, with Israel’s SPYDER system having been the front-runner, experts said.
On average, it takes a tender at least six years to go through the various steps before the final purchase order can be placed.
Any company that loses a bid has to account for that time and investment to its head office and its board, Joshi said.