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Beijing steps up military pressure on Taiwan after the US and China announce talks

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Taiwan’s defense ministry says China sent more than 30 warplanes and a group of navy ships toward the island in a 24-hour period

The military pressure comes on the heels of an announcement that senior American and Chinese representatives were expected to meet in the Thai capital as the two countries seek to cool tensions.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army sent 33 aircraft, including SU-30 fighters, and six navy vessels around Taiwan, between 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday. Of these, 13 warplanes crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait — an unofficial boundary that’s considered a buffer between the island and mainland. Taiwan has monitored the situation and employed its own forces in response to the activities.

United States National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi were both in Bangkok for talks, though it wasn’t clear when the meeting would take place or if it already had.

During talks, Foreign Minister Wang would make clear China’s position on Taiwan and on U.S.-China relations, and discuss international and regional concerns, ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Friday.

An immediate international concern to both countries is tensions in the Red Sea that have upended global trade by forcing many shippers to avoid the Suez Canal. Beijing said it has been making positive efforts to de-escalate the situation in which Iran-backed Houthi rebels have fired missiles at international ships.



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