TAIPEI • A samurai sword-wielding attacker carrying the national flag of China slashed a guard outside Taiwan's presidential office yesterday, the authorities said.
The presidential office in Taipei is the headquarters of Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen.
The suspect, a 51-year-old Taiwanese, who was arrested at the scene, was said to have smashed a display case in a nearby history museum to steal the sword. A museum employee said the sword had been used by the Japanese military in the massacre of residents of the Chinese city of Nanjing in 1937.
"(The attacker) said he wanted to express his political stance by going to the presidential office," a police official said. Local media reported that the man had repeatedly left pro-China messages in comment sections online. Identified by his surname Lu, the man attacked the military police guard as the latter tried to stop him from entering the building via a side gate. Lu is unemployed and has no prior criminal record.
The injured guard, 24, suffered a wound to his neck but is in stable condition after being rushed to hospital. Defence Minister Feng Shih-kuan praised him for bravely stopping the attacker. The incident took place as the presidential office hosted a family event for its staff, including their children.