A top official involved in Taiwan’s missile production died of heart problems on Saturday, the army-owned institution where he worked said, as China conducts massive military exercises around the self-ruled island.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that Ouyang Li-hing was the vice president of the National Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology and had traveled to the south of the island for business.
In a statement posted on its website, the institute confirmed that Ouyang was found unconscious on Saturday morning at a hotel in Hengchun, Pingtung County.
“Forensic examination found that the cause of death was myocardial infarction and angina pectoris,” it said.
The CNA said Ouyang assumed his position earlier this year and was tasked with overseeing “production of various types of missiles”.
His death comes as Beijing conducts exercises aimed at rehearsing a blockade and eventual invasion of the democratic island after angering the Chinese government following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Chinese state media said on Friday that Beijing fired several missiles directly at the main island of Taiwan in the exercise.
Taipei has declined to confirm or deny the flight routes, citing intelligence concerns.
The island’s government is trying to ramp up its own missile production in the face of a growing military threat by China.
China’s ruling Communist Party sees the island as part of its territory and has vowed to one day take it by force if necessary.
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