Taiwan’s deputy
head of defence ministry’s research and development wing was found dead at a
hotel in Pingtung county, state-owned Central News Agency (CAN) reported. Ou
Yang Li-hsing, deputy head of National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and
Technology, was the man behind several missile production projects. Law enforcement
agencies have initiated a probe.

Ou Yang was on a
business trip in Pingtung. He had assumed the role of deputy head post of defence
ministry’s research and development unit earlier this year. Taiwan’s military
body is attempting to double its annual missile production capacity to close to
500 in 2022. The thrust to boost military supplies comes at a time when Beijing
is taking an extremely aggressive stance on Taiwan.

Also Read | Taiwan says China military drills appear to simulate attack

News of the defence
official’s death came the same day when Taiwan’s military said it saw “multiple”
Chinese planes and ships operate on Taiwan Strait. Taipei’s forces “detected
multiple patches of Communist planes and ships conducting activities around the
Taiwan Strait, some that struggle to cross the median line, AFP reported.

Tensions between
China and Taiwan have heightened since United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
visited the island. On Friday, geopolitical jousting led Beijing to quit talks
on climate change and defence cooperation. As part of the talks, two of the
world’s largest polluters pledged to work together and vowed to meet regularly to
tackle the crisis. The deal now looks shaky.

Also Read | EXPLAINER: On China, US and climate, action, not talk is key

government officials said they had noted “multiple” Chinese, planes and ships operating
in the Taiwan Strait, believing them to be simulating an attack on Taiwan. The
Chinese Army’s Eastern Command shared a picture on of a warship patrolling in
seas near Taiwan.

Further, Beijing
said they would run a live-fire drill in the southern part of the Yellow Sea –
located between China and the Korean Peninsula from Saturday until August 15.