TV channel apologizes for false China attack report — Analysis
Taiwanese CTS channel apologized for mistakenly launching a news ticker mentioning ‘Chinese strikes’ on Taipei
The Chinese Television System (CTS), Taiwan’s government-backed station, has issued an apology after mistakenly running ticker alerts about China striking targets near Taipei with missiles.
The warning appeared during a live news broadcast on Wednesday morning, with alerts reportedly indicating that a “War could break out” as well as that Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, had declared a state of emergency. According to local media, the viewers were also being informed about China’s missiles having hit warships and critical infrastructure in the vicinity of the capital, Taipei.
The anchor confirmed that they were intended for a drill with the Fire Department of New Taipei City on Tuesday. However, the alarms were accidentally shown on Wednesday morning as a result of technical errors. She also called on citizens not to be “Don’t panic if you are too anxious” and apologized for the mistake.
According to Reuters the false alerts which made it onto air did not cause panic in Taipei.
Last week, Taiwan’s military released a survival guide designed as a comic-strip, which features recommendations for civilians in the event of a war. This booklet explains amongst other things how to use smartphone apps to find bomb shelters, prepare first-aid kits and distinguish between different air-raid siren types.
In addition, talk has started to revive the idea of making compulsory military service available for Taiwanese males beyond the current four month period.
Taiwan is an independent territory that has been de facto controlled by its government since 1949 when the Chinese losing side fled the country and established its administration. China considers Taiwanese authorities separatists and insists that Taiwan is an integral part of China.
Beijing has been intensifying its military activity in Taiwan Strait. It is now separating China’s mainland and Taiwan. Top Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping, have openly said that the use of force is one of the options on the table to ensure the ‘reunification’ of Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China.
Under the so-called ‘One-China principle’ or ‘One-China policy’, the vast majority of countries refrain from officially recognizing Taiwan’s independence.
The US has maintained informal relations with Taiwan for many years, but Taiwan has enjoyed significant diplomatic and military support over the years. Washington warned Beijing repeatedly of the consequences for any attempts to take Taiwan over by force.
Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine on February 24, Taiwanese authorities have raised their own alert level, admitting, however, that at present there are no signs of an imminent invasion by China.
Elected in 2016, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has prioritized improving the island’s defense capabilities, with a major modernization program launched by her administration.