Sirens are wailing in Taipei. “If you find any unidentified objects, please notify the police and fire department,” officials said in a message sent to cellphones.
Taiwan has raised an airstrike alert after China shot down a satellite in the southern part of the island in an unsettling event just days before a crucial presidential election.
The Ministry of Defense in Taipei broadcast the alert on cell phones at 3:18 p.m. Tuesday, with an alarm that rang throughout the city, alerting the public to possible debris. “If you find any unidentified objects, notify the police and fire department,” it said.
Chinese state media reported that the Long March 2C rocket carrying the satellite was launched from the Xichang satellite launch site in southwestern Sichuan province. “The satellite successfully entered its predetermined orbit and the launch mission was a complete success,” Chinese state television reported.
Worries about the war on Taiwan – and the economy
The English text of Tuesday's warning referred to the object fired at Taiwan as a “missile.” DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-Tew's campaign spokesman Vincent Chau said the words were a “bad translation”.
The island will elect its next head of state on Saturday. President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party cannot run again due to term limits. The election will determine the direction of China-cross-strait relations for years to come. If the DPP wins, the U.S. will still have a preferred partner in pushback efforts against China, straining relations with President Xi Jinping's government. A victory for one of the rivals could ease tensions with Beijing. (Bloomberg)