Taiwan’s ‘Apache-gate’ and a Call for Restraint

Security violations are a serious matter. But Taiwanese media and the opposition should not blow things out of proportion
Photo: J. Michael Cole / TT
J. Michael Cole

(Editor’s note: This article was originally published on the China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, on April 7, 2015.) 

The optics could hardly have been worse: Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng, a pilot manning the Taiwanese Army’s AH-64E “Guardian” helicopter—one of the most advanced helicopters of its kind in the world — is caught after surreptitiously taking a group of civilians, including a few foreign nationals, on a tour of the base, during which an entertainer had her photo taken while sitting in the cockpit.

As the details of the March 29 visit to the Army base in Longtan, Taoyuan, became public, it was soon evident that the Taiwanese military had yet another controversy on its hands. Besides failing to register the visit with security officials at the base, it emerged that Lao, a pilot with Army’s 601st Aviation Brigade, had also taken the Apache helmet — a controlled item — off base for a Halloween costume party at his home in 2014.

Then Janet Lee, a former MTV anchor and middling TV personality who had her picture taken in front of and on board one of the Apache helicopters, contemptuously dismissed the incident, sparking widespread public anger and undoubtedly exacerbating the crisis.

Continue to the full article on the CPI Blog.



Comments are welcome, but will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive language, personal attacks or self-promotion will not be published. We encourage healthy discussion and, above all, tolerance of other's views.