Conflicts: China practices attacks on Taiwan - US destroyers in sea area

Tensions with China have escalated following Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the United States.

Conflicts: China practices attacks on Taiwan - US destroyers in sea area

Tensions with China have escalated following Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the United States. The People's Liberation Army of China continued large-scale military maneuvers near Taiwan for the third straight day on Monday. The Eastern Command organized further exercises and patrols on Monday, as well as air force attacks on land targets, the Chinese military said. The US, meanwhile, demonstrated military prowess in the South China Sea with a US destroyer conducting a sortie near China-claimed Mischief Reef.

The maneuvers near Taiwan, which have been ongoing since Saturday, are a reaction to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's stopover on her way back from a trip to Central America in the United States. In California, the President met with the Chairman of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, last Wednesday - according to the protocol the number three in the USA. It was the first meeting of its kind on US soil.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry reported that 59 Chinese aircraft and 11 warships were spotted within four hours near the democratic island republic on Monday morning. 39 planes crossed the previously respected, unofficial center line of the Taiwan Strait Straits and also entered the Taiwan Air Patrol Zone (ADIZ), which serves as a kind of buffer zone to the People's Republic.

The communist leadership in Beijing regards the independently governed Taiwan as part of the People's Republic and threatens to conquer it. China seeks to isolate Taiwan internationally and firmly rejects official contacts from other countries to Taiwan. Large-scale military maneuvers had been held since McCarthy's predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, visited Taipei in August.

The Taiwan conflict is a key issue between China and the United States. Washington has been committed to the island's defense capability since 1979, which has so far mostly meant arms deliveries. Observers fear the dispute could potentially spark a military confrontation between the two world powers. The US and China are also at odds over Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Amid mounting tensions, the American guided missile destroyer USS Milius completed a mission near the Mischief Atoll on the Spratly Islands on Monday. As the 7th US Fleet announced, the US warship stood up for freedom of navigation in the sea area claimed by China and other countries. The "USS Milius" then left the area again.

The reef is in its natural state flooded with water and therefore does not allow any territorial claims under the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the statement said. China's land reclamation and the built facilities did not change that. "Illegal and sweeping claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including freedom of navigation and overflight, free trade and unhindered business."

China claims almost all of the South China Sea and has built artificial islands to support its claims. This also applies to strategically important and resource-rich areas that countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines claim as their own. The United States and China's neighbors accuse Beijing of increasing militarization of the region. The International Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected the Chinese territorial claims in 2016. However, China ignores the verdict.

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