Taiwan’s Navy mistakenly launched a supersonic missile Friday in the direction of China, the official Central News Agency reported.
A 500-ton patrol boat, the Chinchiang, was undergoing an inspection in a naval base when the Hsiung Feng III missile was set off, landing about 45 miles away and hitting a fishing boat off the Penghu islands. The boat’s captain, a Taiwanese fisherman, has been killed, defence officials told BBC.
A full investigation of the ‘accident’ is under way, and the navy has sent a helicopter and boats to search for the missile gone rogue.
Coincidentally, the incident occurred as China celebrates its 95th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party. Chinese President Xi Jinping marked the occasion by delivering a speech in which he warned against threats to China’s security and Taiwan independence.
“We will resolutely oppose Taiwan independence splitist forces,” Xi said, according to Reuters. “Do not expect that we will swallow the bitter fruit of damage to our sovereignty, security and development interests.”
The communist country continues to view Taiwan as Chinese territory, despite the fact that it has self-ruled since 1949. Relations grew even worse in January when the Taiwanese elected its first female president—a pro-independence leader belonging to the Democratic Progressive Party.
China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and it has hundreds of missiles pointed towards the tiny island at all times.
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