Red Brick Daily
Between April 1993 and June 1994 —12 Chinese planes were hijacked to Taiwan … and 10 of those made it.
It’s been almost a quarter of a century since, and these days hijackings across the Taiwan Strait are very rare events.
Back in the day, however, Taiwan and China both welcomed defectors, esp. if you flew a nice, new Air Force jet with you. Taiwan gave such fliers cash, a pension, housing, status and even, reportedly, gold bricks.
(Jiang Wenhao, right, (蔣文浩), flew his plane to Kinmen in September 1989. Jiang was the last military defector to be rewarded for his actions by the government of Taiwan.)
BUT, the hijackings in 1993-1994 came AFTER Taiwan rescinded its “hero’s welcome” policy for defectors and signed a deal with China to repatriate hijackers after they served any sentence given by a court. In short, hijackers were now criminals to both Taiwan and China.
ALSO, these hijackers did not pilot military jets — they hijacked commercial airlines with threats of violence.
But why in the world would you hijack a plane to Taiwan … knowing you’re going to prison in Taiwan and then certainly getting sent back home? … possibly for more prison time!
The Taipei Times takes a look back at that weird year —