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Chinese, Taiwanese navies continue military drills amid rising tensions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An Air Force pilot navigates an aircraft next to a fighter jet under the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) during military exercises in the waters and airspace around Taiwan, at an undisclosed location on August 9, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Chinese and Taiwanese warships have lined up in front of each other to continue their naval drills, as tensions between the two sides soar in the aftermath of a controversial visit to Chinese Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

About 20 ships of the Chinese and the Taiwanese Navy have been stationed near the middle line of the Taiwan Strait since Wednesday morning, Reuters quoted an informed source as saying.

The source said that several Chinese naval ships continued to carry out missions off the east coast of Taiwan, after which the Taiwanese warships lined up against them.

A video released by China’s state-run CCTV shows Chinese fighter jets flying over the Taiwan Strait.

A Chinese military official said that the drills aim to strengthen the logistic capacity of the country’s army.

China’s air force and navy conducted drills on Tuesday to test joint control and connectivity capabilities in difficult electromagnetic conditions during ongoing military exercises around Taiwan.

Taiwan’s officials claimed on Tuesday that China was using the military drills as a preparation for an invasion of the island.

“It is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyberattacks, disinformation, and economic coercion, in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan,” Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Tuesday, without providing evidence or offering a timetable.

“After the drills conclude, China may try to routinize its action in an attempt to wreck the long-term status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”

China considers Chinese Taipei as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland under the internationally-recognized “One China” policy.

The sovereignty is subject to international recognition, including by the United States.

But, in violation of its own stated policy and in an attempt to irritate Beijing, Washington has recently ramped up diplomatic contacts with the self-proclaimed government in Chinese Taipei. Washington is also the island’s largest weapon supplier.

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