Taiwan has mistakenly fired a supersonic anti-ship missile in the direction of China, the Taiwanese navy said. The 500-tonne patrol boat Chinchiang was undergoing an inspection inside a military base when the missile was fired by accident on Friday. There were no injuries caused by the error, Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported. It said the missile - a Hsiung Feng III - landed in waters off the Taiwanese islands of Penghu, between Taiwan and China. A preliminary investigation showed that its operators may have failed to follow proper procedures. "Our initial investigation found that the operation was not done in accordance with normal procedure," Taiwan's Vice Admiral Mei Chia-shu told reporters. He added that a full investigation was under way. Taiwan's navy has sent a helicopter and boats to search for the missile. The accident coincided with Beijing's celebrations of the 95th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which handles China policy, declined to say whether the incident had been reported to Beijing. Ties between Taipei and Beijing have deteriorated since China-sceptic Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in January. China still insists that self-ruling Taiwan is part of its territory, even though the two sides split in 1949 after a civil war. It has not ruled out using force to bring about reunification. However, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech on Friday calling for peaceful development of relations between Beijing and Taipei.
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