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Taiwan may test missiles again after flop

The missiles include the home-made Tien Chien II ("Sky Arrow II"), US-made Sparrows and the French-made Mica, the paper said.
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Jan 20, 2011
Taiwan is considering new missile tests after a series of failures in a drill this week earned the top brass rare criticism from an irate President Ma Ying-jeou, media and an official said Thursday.

Six out of the 19 missiles missed their targets or failed to explode during a live-fire manoeuvre Tuesday, prompting Ma to publicly tell the military that he was "not very satisfied", urging it to practice some more.

Although the military insisted the result was acceptable, it now plans to re-test three types of missile that failed during the drill, the Liberty Times said, without citing its source.

The missiles include the home-made Tien Chien II ("Sky Arrow II"), US-made Sparrows and the French-made Mica, the paper said.

"They may be tested again during another drill to be held in the second half of this year, but no final decision has been made," a defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Taiwan has ruled itself since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still considers the island part of its territory and has never renounced the potential use of force to get it back.

The island's relations with China have improved since Ma took over as president in 2008 on a campaign promise to lift the island's economy through closer interaction with Beijing.

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