A Taiwanese television erroneously ran news alerts Wednesday morning of Chinese armed forces launching an invasion and firing missiles near the capital Taipei.

The Chinese Television Systems (CTS) apologized for "causing public panic" with the mistake and said they would punish those staff responsible. CTS is partly owned by the Taiwanese government, also known as the Republic of China.

At 7:00 a.m. local time, the CTS news ticker read: “New Taipei City was hit by communist missiles, the Taipei port has exploded, facilities and ships were damaged and destroyed."

According to reports, the ticker also read that the two sides were, “On the brink of war … The Chinese Communist Party prepares for war … The president has issued an emergency order.”

Still, fear of an invasion by China has been prevalent in Taiwan, an island nation with a population of 23 million. Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen views Taiwan as an independent island nation, causing ire among the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

There have been multiple threats, including breaches of Taiwanese air space by China in the past few decades. According to a tally from Agence France-Presse (AFP), Chinese warplanes breached Taiwan's airspace 969 times in 2021, double 2020's amount.

The CTS mistake announcement did not cause serious panic in Taiwan on Wednesday. After the mistaken announcement by CTS, the Taiwanese army quickly worked to verify and then dispel these claims.

Hours after the mistake occurred, CTS assured Taiwan's residents that they did not need to panic, saying that "CTS news channel cooperated with the New Taipei City government fire bureau to record a disaster prevention video. On the 20th, due to a wrong setting by the production staff, we mistakenly flashed the messages from yesterday about the war and disaster prevention."

Taiwan does annual disaster response drills and this year's drill is scheduled to occur on May 5. The drills usually include an earthquake scene, a tsunami, a bridge collapse, and an explosion, but this is the first time in years that it will include an invasion scenario.

"This year, our boss said we will also include the war scenario in the exercise … It is the first time in recent years," a spokesperson for The New Taipei fire department told the Guardian.

Fear of an invasion in Taiwan was reignited when Russia invaded Ukraine. Throughout the invasion, China has been a relatively neutral party, advocating for peace rather than condemning or praising Russia or helping Ukraine. However, many view China as a friend of Russia.

Visiting US senator Bob Menendez (R) is greeted by Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu in Taipei
Visiting US senator Bob Menendez (R) is greeted by Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu in Taipei AFP / Handout