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The military maneuvers reflect the China-Taiwan tension

The military maneuvers reflect the China-Taiwan tension

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei flared further on Sunday as Chinese and Taiwanese warships clashed in waters off Taiwan, ahead of the scheduled end of four days of military exercises.

Last week's visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan prompted an unprecedented response from China, which launched large-scale military maneuvers around the island.

For the first time, Beijing launched ballistic missiles that flew over Taiwan's capital while cutting off dialogue with Washington on several fronts.

About 10 Chinese and Taiwanese warships sailed near the Taiwan Strait, while some Chinese warships crossed the unofficial dividing line between the two countries, according to an individual with knowledge of the matter.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said many Chinese military ships, aircraft and drones were simulating attacks on the island and coastline, while it said it had dispatched aircraft and warships to respond "appropriately".

In a statement later on Sunday, the ministry said it had detected 14 Chinese warships and 66 aircraft in and around the Taiwan Strait. It is not clear whether China ended the maneuvers on Sunday, as previously announced.

But a commentator on Chinese state television said late in the evening that the Chinese military will now conduct continuous training on the Taiwan side, saying that the historic task of reunification with China can be accomplished. Both sides are being restrained, the person with knowledge of the matter said.

Taiwan said air, sea and land defense systems were on standby. Taipei said F-16 fighter jets, equipped with advanced missiles, were patrolling the airspace.

Speaking during a visit to Bangladesh, Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi said Beijing's actions were "legitimate, reasonable, in accordance with the law" and aimed at protecting China's "sacred sovereignty"./ VOA

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