China wants 'responsible explanation' on Taiwan missile firing

A Taiwanese warship had accidentally fired a supersonic anti-ship missile towards mainland China.

PTI| Updated: Jul 02, 2016, 18:03 PM IST

Beijing: China on Saturday asked Taiwan to provide a "responsible explanation" a day after the Taiwanese navy mistakenly fired a missile that hit a fishing boat killing one person coinciding with the ruling Communist Party of China's 95th anniversary celebrations.

A Taiwanese warship had accidentally fired a supersonic anti-ship missile towards mainland China.

One fisherman was killed and three others injured after the missile, with a range of 300 kilometres, flew about 75 kilometres before plunging into waters off Penghu, a Taiwanese -administered island in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan military authorities had apologised for the casualties caused by the "missile blunder", state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"The incident occurred and caused severe impact at a time when the mainland has repeatedly emphasised safeguarding peaceful development of cross-Strait relations based on the political foundation of the 1992 Consensus," Zhang, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said.

Zhang told media that "the Taiwan side should offer a responsible explanation of the matter".

The missile launch caused ripples as China yesterday observed the 95th anniversary of the CPC with grand celebrations marked by a tough speech by President Xi Jinping during which he firmly ruled out independence for Taiwan.

"We firmly oppose the 'Taiwan independence' secessionist activities," Xi said at the ceremony marking the 95th founding anniversary of the CPC.

"More than 1.3 billion Chinese people and the whole Chinese nation will by no means tolerate secessionist activities by any person, at any time and in any form," he said.

China claims Taiwan as part of the mainland and never recognised Taiwan's estrangement in 1949.

Taiwan, which enjoys close ties with US has been carrying out military buildup to deter any threat from China.

Relations between the two sides which showed significant improvement in recent years took a hit after election of Tsai Ing-wen as president who defeated Ma Ying-Jeou who had promoted normalisation of ties between the two sides in the recent poll. China has scaled down the normalisation process since then.

For its part Taiwan quickly moved to clarify that the missile launch was a mistake and ordered investigation into how it was misfired into the Taiwan Strait.

The Taiwan navy said seven officers including the petty officer who fired the missile and navy commander Huang Shu-kuang would be disciplined, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.