A samurai sword-wielding attacker carrying the national flag of China slashed a military police guard outside Taiwan’s presidential office Friday, authorities said.

The Taiwanese man who was arrested at the scene said he was expressing his political views and had stolen the sword from a nearby history museum, police told AFP.

The presidential office in the centre of the capital Taipei is the headquarters of Taiwan’s Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen.

Relations with Chinese authorities have deteriorated since she took office last year as she has refused to agree to Beijing’s stance that Taiwan is part of “one China.”

The island is a self-ruling democracy, but Beijing still sees it as part of its territory to be reunited.

The attacker “took a hammer and smashed a display case in a history museum to steal a samurai sword”, a police official working on the incident, who did not want to be named, told AFP.

“A Chinese national flag was found in his backpack. He said he wanted to express his political stance by going to the presidential office,” the official said.

The man, identified only by his family name Lu, stabbed the officer as he tried to stop him entering the complex from a side gate, said presidential spokesman Alex Huang.

Lu is currently being questioned by police.

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