Heads Up: Taiwan Mistakenly Fires Missile Toward China

The recent back and forth events between China, the US, and various other countries including Japan as it relates to the South China Sea are well known at this point, however Taiwan has now entered into the picture as well.

Last Saturday, the Chinese government said it had stopped a communication mechanism with Taiwan because of the refusal of the self-ruled island's new government to recognize the "one China" principle.

Reuters explains

China, which regards Taiwan as wayward province, is deeply suspicious of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who took office last month, as they suspect she will push for formal independence.

 

Tsai, who heads the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, says she wants to maintain the status quo with China and is committed to ensuring peace.

 

But China has insisted she recognize something called the "1992 consensus" reached between China's Communists and Taiwan's then-ruling Nationalists, under which both agreed there is only one China, with each having their own interpretation of what that means.

 

In a brief statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said that since May 20, when Tsai took office, Taiwan has not affirmed this consensus.

 

"Because the Taiwan side has not acknowledged the 1992 consensus, this joint political basis for showing the one China principle, the cross Taiwan Strait contact and communication mechanism has already stopped," spokesman An Fengshan said.

Just days later, it was reported that Taiwan planned to test-fire its newest anti-missile system for the first time in the United States in the coming months. Although the missile system was purchased in 2008, before Tsai's leadership, the testing of the missiles coupled with the fact that it would be in the United States surely annoyed China further.

Speaking of missiles, as Communist Party rulers in Beijing celebrated the party's 95th birthday on Friday, Taiwan's Navy fired a supersonic missile allegedly in error and hit a Taiwan fishing boat in waters separating the island from China.

As Reuters reports, the missile did not explode but pierced the boat and killed one Taiwan fisherman. The ship-to-air missile was mis-fired from a 500-ton Navy patrol vessel during pre-inspection in southern Taiwan ahead of a mock exercise Taiwan's Navy Chief of Staff Mei Chia-shu told reporters.

"That this is politically motivated, or this is to create crisis in the surrounding situation, this is not the case" said Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry also said that it had not detected irregular movements by China's military after the accident.

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We're not sure what to be more concerned about for Taiwan, the fact that its presumably very expensive missile didn't actually explode upon impact, or that China will become even more annoyed - then again, both should probably be on their list of things to worry about.