Taiwan receives missile alarm from Chinese satellite


Taiwan sounded an alarm for the whole island because a Chinese satellite flew over its southern airspace just days before an important election for a new president.

People who use mobile phones on the island received a message telling them to “be careful and stay safe”.

The “presidential alert” made people nervous before important elections on Saturday.

China says that Taiwan belongs to them and has been accused of trying to influence the vote.

The island with 23 million people governs itself and is a very important point of conflict between China and the US in Asia. Experts believe that the elections will determine how the relationship between Beijing and Washington will develop.

The satellite was sent into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China’s Sichuan province at 3:03p. mlocal time, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry. Around the same time as the alert, China’s CCTV said a satellite called Einstein Probe had been launched and it was a “complete success. “

Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu said that launching a satellite over Taiwanese airspace so close to the election is a risky and suspicious activity. Reuters news agency reported this.

Mr Wu said that when a rocket flies in the sky, some of its parts might fall in our area. He said this at a news conference when the warning was sent.

“Our national alert centre will issue this alert for that reason. “”It happened again. “

Taiwan’s defense ministry is keeping an eye on the path of the satellite so they can be ready to deal with it. The satellite was very high up when it passed over Taiwan, the ministry said.

Taiwanese news says that this is the first time the government has sent out an alert like this to the whole island.

Eric Chu, the leader of Taiwan’s main opposing party Kuomintang (KMT), said that the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) government is scaring people, especially by using the word “missile” in their warning. The message said: “[Air raid alert] Missilesare flying over Taiwan’s airspace, be careful. “

This is the first time I heard that sending a satellite into space can cause such a warning. Everyone was really surprised and thought it was a missile, but it was actually a satellite. “I believe the National Defense Ministry is trying to fool the public by sending out this alert,” he said.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said sorry for giving the wrong information about a missile in a message to mobile phones.

The Einstein Probe is a project that involves the European Space Agency, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics.

The satellite will watch for special things happening in space,like twinkling fireworks, to learn more about the violent and hidden parts of the universe, China’s Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.

In December, news in Taiwan said that Chinese rockets had flown over the island. A report from Focus Taiwan on December 10th said that a rocket launched from Xichang flew over southwestern Taiwan in outer space.


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