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Air alert in Taiwan due to launch of Chinese satellite

Air alert in Taiwan due to launch of Chinese satellite Air alert in Taiwan due to launch of Chinese satellite (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Air raid sirens went off in Taiwan as a Chinese satellite flew over its southern airspace, triggering concerns and warnings to citizens for their safety, according to BBC.

Mobile phone users across the island received alerts urging them to be cautious. China has long asserted its claim over Taiwan as part of its territory, accusing it of interference in the run-up to crucial presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for this Saturday, January 13.

Analysts believe that the election outcomes in Taiwan will significantly influence the trajectory of relations between Beijing and Washington.

Satellite launch

The satellite was launched from the Xichang Space Center in China's Sichuan province at 3:03 PM local time. Around the same time the air raid alarm was sounded in Taiwan, Chinese media reported the successful operation.

"When a rocket is openly flying in our sky, some of their tubes or debris will fall in this region," said Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu.

Taiwanese media reports indicate that this is the first instance of such a widespread alert being declared by the government across the entire island.

Taiwan-China conflict

China views Taiwan as a separatist province and seeks to regain complete control over it. The island nation, in turn, considers itself independent, with a separate economy and democratically elected leaders.

Recent reports have highlighted China's increased military activity near the island, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has declared the inevitable reunification of Taiwan with the People's Republic of China. He has vowed to strongly resist any attempts to separate the island.

In response, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing Wen stated that her country's relations with China should be determined by the will of the people, emphasizing the importance of dignity in international affairs.