Taiwan Mistakenly Fires ‘Carrier Killer’ Missile Towards China | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Taiwan Mistakenly Fires ‘Carrier Killer’ Missile Towards China

Posted: Jul 1, 2016 at 9:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A Taiwanese warship mistakenly launched a supersonic “aircraft carrier killer” missile towards China on Friday, the navy said, as ties between the island and its once bitter rival deteriorate.

The domestically developed Hsiung-feng III (Brave Wind) missile flew about 75 kilometres (45 miles) before plunging into waters off Penghu, a Taiwanese-administered island group in the Taiwan Strait.

The navy said it was not immediately clear how the missile, which has a range of 300 kilometres, had come to be launched, but suggested it could have been due to human error.

“Our initial investigation found that the operation was not done in accordance with normal procedure,” Vice Admiral Mei Chia-shu told reporters, adding that an investigation was under way.

The missile was fired during a drill at around 8:10 am (0010 GMT) from a 500-tonne missile ship docked at a naval base in the southern city of Tsoying and flew in the direction of China.

Helicopters and navy ships were sent to search for the missile, Mei said, adding that the military had reported the gaffe to the island’s top security body, the National Security Conference.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles China policy, declined to say whether the incident had been reported to Beijing.

Official communications between the council and its Chinese counterpart have effectively been frozen by Beijing over Taiwan’s new government refusing to recognise the “one China” concept.

The tenet, agreed by Beijing and Taiwan’s then-ruling Nationalists in 1992, established that there is only one China, but with each side reserving the right to interpret the concept as they see fit.