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Beijing has also sent more ships to the disputed South China Sea in what one analyst described as ‘strategic intimidation’.

Some 28 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan's air defence zone on Tuesday, said its defence ministry, the largest reported incursion so far.

 

photo:  Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Ta Credit: USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76)

The Philippines has demanded that China withdraw its ships and fishing vessels from the vicinity of a Philippine-occupied island in the South China Sea, where the Chinese military has asserted its sovereignty and vowed to “unswervingly safeguard” the disputed territory.

Beijing accuses US of entering its waters around islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan without permission.

Samoa's expected new prime minister has pledged to shelve a $100 million Beijing-backed port development, calling the project excessive for the small Pacific island that is already heavily indebted to China.

No one outside China knows if two new nuclear reactors that are under construction and that will produce plutonium serve a dual civilian-military use.

Disputes over technology and the coronavirus pandemic have eroded relations between the two countries in recent years.

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