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China begins final day of military exercises around Taiwan

China continued its controversial military exercises around Taiwan on Sunday morning, in what is due to be the last day of the manoeuvres that have considerably increased tensions in the region.

China continued its controversial military exercises around Taiwan on Sunday morning, in what is due to be the last day of the manoeuvres that have considerably increased tensions in the region.

Taiwan’s military reported that 20 Chinese military aircraft and 14 warships had taken part in Saturday’s exercises, with Chinese drones again observed over the Taiwan-administered island of Kinmen, which lies just 10 kilometres from the port city of Xiamen on the Chinese mainland.

According to experts, there have been no Chinese overflights of the island, also known as Quemoy, since the 1950s.

The Chinese leadership in Beijing launched the manoeuvres in response to a visit by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taipei earlier this week.

The exercises represent China‘s biggest display of military strength since missile exercises carried out in the mid-1990s led the US to send two aircraft carriers to the Taiwan Strait.

China has long claimed Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory, and has threatened to retake the island by force should it attempt to declare independence. The Taiwanese, however, have long seen themselves as a separate nation.

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