Taiwan’s government-funded Chinese Television System (CTS) accidentally broadcast a running news ticker on Wednesday morning falsely declaring Chinese forces had launched a military invasion of New Taipei City, the Taipei Times reported on Thursday.
The Taiwanese public broadcaster CTS allowed mock alerts intended for an upcoming disaster drill in New Taipei City to enter its text feed for a running news ticker at the bottom of its 7:00 a.m. news bulletin on April 20. The text included alarming messages, such as, “Communist forces strike New Taipei City with guided missiles.”
“Naval vessel explodes, facilities, ships damaged at Port of Taipei,” read another false update.
“Arson and explosives placed by suspected special forces at Banqiao [train] Station, no casualties,” CTS’s news ticker further claimed.
“The CTS chyron had also warned that conflict with China was ‘in danger of breaking out,’ and that New Taipei officials had established a command and control center,” Newsweek reported on Wednesday. “‘Chinese Communists make preparations for war, [Taiwan] president declares state of emergency effective 8 a.m. March 6,’ the text read.”
CTS’s accidental broadcast of the mock alerts caused several residents of New Taipei City to phone the local government and inquire about the messages on Wednesday. In response, CTS pinned the following statement to the top of its YouTube live stream later Wednesday, “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. Please don’t panic! We hereby clarify and apologize!”