A public broadcaster in Taiwan struck fear into the hearts of its viewers amid ongoing tensions when it accidentally put out a breaking news report claiming that China had invaded
A TV news channel in Taiwan sent viewers into panic mode when it accidentally ran a report saying that arch-rival China had invaded.
Public broadcaster CTS had to hurriedly reassure the public that no attack was imminent after people began calling government offices to ask whether they were in danger.
Bosses at the television station blamed the gaffe on an unknown member of staff.
They revealed that the text had been inadvertently taken out of an emergency disaster drill and placed in the bottom-of-screen ticker bar during a 7am broadcast.
The shocking bulletin read: “Communist forces strike New Taipei City with guided missiles.”
“Naval vessel explodes, facilities, ships damaged at Port of Taipei. Arson and explosives placed by suspected special forces at Banqiao Station, no casualties”.
CTS later issued a short statement on the top of its YouTube stream which asserted “please don’t panic” and explained how the blunder occurred.
The message said: “The news ticker content shown earlier was part of a disaster prevention video created by the New Taipei Fire Department. Today, due to incorrect settings, the content of yesterday’s video was mistakenly inserted”.
The emergency notice had been put together by New Taipei Fire Department, who said they had written a mock script for an annual national disaster drill that takes place on May 5.
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No signs of visible panic were seen in the major cities of Taipei, or New Taipei, according to Newsweek.
The disturbing false alarm comes as Taiwan begins to question its own national security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Last month a US think tank claimed that China is using survey ‘scanning ships’ to stake disputed claims in the South China Sea.
Data analyzed by the organization showed an increase in Chinese vessel activity, which are reportedly being used to identify potential hiding places for enemy submarines.
The increase in activity shows China is more active in conducting maritime surveys than previously thought, with some concerned the survey operations could precede a large scale air-and-sea offensive.