Chinese rocket passes over Taiwan: Defense ministry
Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) A carrier rocket launched by China on Sunday passed directly over Taiwan in outer space, the first one to take that path after four others were launched earlier in the month, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
The Long March-2D carrier rocket, built by China, blasted off Sunday morning from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, the MND said in a press release.
On the takeoff trajectory, the rocket passed over southwestern Taiwan in outer space, the MND said, adding that its intelligence systems had been closely tracking the launch.
According to the MND, the Long March-2D carrier rocket was the fifth to be launched by China in December and the second one in as many days, but none of the others had passed directly over Taiwan.
China's national Xinhua news agency reported Sunday that the rocket, launched at 9:58 a.m., was taking a remote sensing satellite into space.
The Chinese Yaogan satellites, as they are called, are a series of government operated optical remote sensing satellites, which are likely used also for military reconnaissance, according to defense experts.
So far this month, China has launched Yaogan satellites into space on Dec. 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10, according to Taiwan's defense ministry.
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