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Taiwan apologizes after emergency alert mistranslation led to ‘missile' warning for Chinese satellite launch

Taiwan's defense ministry apologized after a national emergency alert identified a Chinese satellite launch as a "missile flyover" in the English translation.

Taiwan's government apologized Tuesday after a mistranslation in the nation's emergency alert system misidentified a Chinese satellite launch as a missile for English users.

The alert buzzed on Taiwanese phones as normal on Tuesday afternoon, but warned of a "missile flyover" in the English translation. Taiwan later said the Chinese satellite had already left the atmosphere by the time it reached Taiwanese airspace.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense apologized for the mistake, saying it was the first time the country had issued an alert for a Chinese satellite launch.

Tensions between China and Taiwan remain heightened as Taiwan's elections are just days away. Residents will vote for a new president and legislators on January 13. Vice President Lai Ching-te, a candidate who favors independence from China, is leading in the polls.

CHINA TELLS TAIWAN TO VOTE ON 'RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY' IN ELECTION THAT COULD DETERMINE CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS

China has prodded Taiwan repeatedly as the election nears. Taiwan's defense ministry reported the presence of multiple Chinese spy flights in airspace above the island last week.

A single spy flight was detected crossing over the island on Jan. 1, followed by three more the following day.

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Sun Li-fang told the press that the spy flight appears to be built to collect atmospheric data, but whether it has other functions is unknown.

Sun said the government "is closely monitoring and controlling the situation, taking appropriate measures, and summarizing their flight paths for judgment and analysis," according to The Wall Street Journal.

CHINA'S XI JINPING SAYS TAIWAN WILL 'SURELY BE REUNIFIED' IN YEAR-END ADDRESS

Chinese leader Xi Jinping also declared that Taiwan would "surely be reunified" with the mainland during his year-end address on New Year's Eve.

"All Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose and share in the glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," Xi said in a speech.

"The motherland will surely be reunified," he added.

Taiwan split from mainland China in 1949, when democratic forces fled there after losing a civil war against the Chinese Communist Party.

Fox News' Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report

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