Taiwan’s defense ministry issues an air raid alert saying China has launched a satellite

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Taiwan’s defense ministry issued an alert Tuesday saying China has launched a satellite and urging caution days before the island’s elections. Taiwan holds presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday which China has described as a choice between war and peace.

In English, the presidential alert sent to residents’ mobile phones cautioned there was a missile flyover. The alerts went off in the middle of an international news conference by Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. He clarified it was a satellite launch, told journalists not to worry, and proceeded with the news conference.

China views Taiwan, which is about 160 kilometres (100 miles) off China’s east coast, as a renegade province that must come under its control.

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