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Beijing blamed the United States on Thursday for tensions over Taiwan after a U.S. warship sailed close to the Chinese-claimed island, asking rhetorically whether China would sail in the Gulf of Mexico as a “show of strength”.

Fifteen Chinese air force aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Wednesday, including 12 fighter jets, the island’s defence ministry said.

Taiwan has spotted Chinese drones circling the Taipei-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea and may shoot them down if they stray too close, a government minister said on Wednesday, a move that could dramatically increase tensions with Beijing.

China sent more fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defence zone on Wednesday in a stepped-up show of force around the island Beijing claims as its own, and Taiwan’s foreign minister said it would fight to the end if China attacks.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is committed to peacefully resolving a diplomatic row with China over the disputed South China Sea, his spokesman said on Tuesday, in a measured response after days of strong rebukes by his ministers and generals.

The U.S. Navy’s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) entered the South China Sea on April 4 to conduct routine operations, the U.S. Navy said on Tuesday.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry on Monday reported a new incursion by China’s air force into the island’s air defence identification zone, made up of eight fighter jets and two other aircraft, one of which flew through the strategic Bashi Channel.

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