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The decision came ahead of a crunch showdown between Brexit minister Lord Frost and EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic in the Belgian capital tomorrow. They...

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South China Sea: US scrambles to Taiwan as China deploys battle group as tensions rise

South China Sea: US scrambles to Taiwan as China deploys battle group as tensions rise

Speaking at Parliament, Lee Chung-wei, who heads the Ocean Affairs Council under whose purview the Coast Guard falls, said that they had recently spotted Chinese drones circling the Pratas, though they have not flown over the islands. “They have never entered our restricted waters and airspace, they’ve just flown around them at a certain distance,” Lee said. While China recognises no Taiwanese claims of sovereignty, its aircraft and ships generally stay outside Taiwan’s restricted zone, which extends 6 km from its coast.

Sky News Australia’s Alan Jones said: “Another day, another aggressive manoeuvre by China as it ramps up threats to take control of Taiwan.

“This is not some tiny routine flyover which we saw at the beginning of the year, China gathered together a battle group including its aircraft carrier in waters right next to Taiwan.

“In response, the US Navy has sent in one of its carriers into the South China Sea to conduct what they also call routine operations.

“Japan as well has deployed a destroyer in the area.

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