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China Announces Military Drill Near Taiwan Strait Amid US Official’s Visit

China Announces Military Drill Near Taiwan Strait Amid US Official’s Visit
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

China said Friday it was conducting military exercises near the Taiwan Strait, as a senior US official visits the self-ruled island in a move that has angered Beijing.

Relations between the US and China are at their lowest point in decades, with the two sides clashing over a range of trade, military and security issues as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

China's Communist leadership balks at any recognition of Taiwan -- which has been ruled separately from China since the end of a civil war in 1949 -- and has mounted a decades-long policy of marginalizing the democratic island.

Keith Krach, US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, landed in Taipei on Thursday for a three-day visit, the highest-ranking State Department official to visit in 40 years.

At a press conference on Friday morning a Chinese defense ministry spokesman said Beijing was "holding actual combat exercises near the Taiwan Strait" when asked how Beijing would respond to Krach's visit.

"This is a legitimate and necessary action taken to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the current situation in the Taiwan Strait," Ren Guoqiang told reporters.

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