A Chinese factory worker explained Friday how he and an accomplice hijacked an airliner to Taiwan by threatening the pilots with a toy gun and then offering them directions to the nationalist island.
The hijackers, armed only with the toy gun and shampoo bottle covered in wax to resemble a bomb, forced a Boeing 737 of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, to land at a military air base in central Taiwan Thursday night.A Taiwanese government spokesman called the two men "compatriots" and said his government will not send them back to communist China. He declined to say whether the hijackers would be prosecuted in Taiwan.
One of the hijackers, Chang Ching-kuo, 26, told a Taiwan television interviewer Friday how he and Lung Kwei-yun, also 26, "pretended to go to the toilet near the cockpit and forced our way into where the pilots were."
"When they saw what we had in hand, they did not try to resist," he said.
When the pilot said he did not know where Taiwan was because it was not listed on his map, Chang, a former radar operator, said he told the pilot exactly what direction he should take and "he readily agreed to."
It took the plane two hours and 10 minutes to reach Taiwan, "and once we landed we felt very, very much at home," Chang said.
In China, the national television news identified Chang as a worker in a munitions factory in Yunnan Province. It said Lung worked in the Guizhou Iron and Steel Plant.
Taiwanese government spokesman Yu-min Shaw refused to say whether Taiwan, a subscriber to all major civil aviation conventions designed to safeguard international flights, would prosecute the two men for hijacking.