Taiwan plans to test-fire its newest anti-missile system for the first time in the United States next month as relations with rival China deteriorate, a defence source and media reports said Monday.
Relations between China and Taiwan have cooled rapidly under the island's new Beijing-sceptic president Tsai Ing-wen, who took office in May, ending an eight-year rapprochement.
The test of the US-made Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system will be launched at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, in early July, a defence ministry source told AFP, in a move likely to irk Beijing even though it was arranged before Tsai took the helm.
According to the source, the test will be conducted in the US to avoid China collecting information about it, and due to space restrictions in Taiwan.
The American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy, would not comment on the test, which was also reported in Taiwan's Liberty Times newspaper.