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The Chinese military has carried out multiple simulations of attacks on U.S. warships in the South China Sea in recent weeks, according to the Taiwanese government.
Taiwan says China’s goal is to prevent foreign powers from coming to the aid of the self-governed island should China choose to invade, Reuters reported Thursday. The U.S. Navy has routinely sailed ships into the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, rebuking China’s claims of sovereignty over the region.
Taiwan says China’s simulations have focused primarily on preventing U.S. warships from approaching Taiwan by sailing through the island chain that runs from Japan through Taiwan and the Philippines, according to Reuters.
The report comes one day after Taiwanese soldiers fired warning shots at drones hovering above Kinmen island, causing the drones to return to the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen.
The Kinmen island group lies just nine miles off of the Chinese coastline. Taiwan said the drones appeared to be for “civilian use.” Soldiers on the island shot down one of the drones on Thursday.
China has grown increasingly aggressive toward Taiwan since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August. Pelosi is the highest-level U.S. official to visit the island in 25 years, and multiple members of Congress have followed her example with their own trips to Taiwan in recent weeks.
China has argued that visits violate America’s One China Policy, which states that the U.S. acknowledges the Beijing government as the sole government of China. It also states that the U.S. will not hold formal diplomatic ties with the government of Taiwan.
China reacted to the trips with its ongoing military drills, which surrounded Taiwan in a simulation of an invasion. The country has also fired ballistic missiles over the island and sent warplanes across the Taiwan Strait median line.
Taiwan first split from mainland China following a civil war between democratic and communist forces in 1949.