Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Taiwan Mistakenly Fires Supersonic Missile Towards China

Taiwan mistakenly fires missile towards China

(Photo : Getty Images) Vice-Admiral of the Taiwanese Navy said the supersonic missile was launched towards China by operational error.

A Taiwanese warship "mistakenly" fired a supersonic "anti-ship missile" towards China on Friday as it celebrated the 95th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party.

The Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile, which has a range of about 300km and the ability to reach mainland China, was fired from a patrol vessel stationed at a naval base in Kaohsiung, which is located in southern Taiwan.

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The "accidental launch" killed one and injured three others after it "pierced through" a fishing boat in the waters off Taiwan's Penghu islands.

"The missile was launched by operational error. We are investigating the case," said Vice-Admiral Mei Chia-hsu of the Taiwanese Navy, according to the South China Morning Post.

He added that the ship was carrying out a navy drill when officers failed to observe standard protocol and mistakenly launched the missile.

When asked whether the misfired missile would lead to misunderstanding with China, Mei said that the Taiwanese defence ministry was notified of the incident and they would be handling the case accordingly.

Mei also noted that the missile did not even make it past the mid-course line of the Taiwan Strait, which means that China's Fujian province, which was located on the other side of the strait, was not the intended target of the missile.

This takes place amid rising tensions between the island and Beijing. Taiwan has been developing missiles like the Hsiung Feng III to counter China, who has threatened to attack the island if it declares independence.

China considers Taiwan as a breakaway province and has said that it was not afraid to use force to bring about the reunification

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