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The transfers also come as Washington steps up military operations in the South and East China Seas, conducting regular show of force missions with long range bombers, spy flights with surveillance planes and “freedom of navigation” sail-throughs. Last week, an American destroyer transited the Taiwan Strait – what the Pentagon deemed a “routine” mission – prompting a harsh rebuke from Beijing, who warned that its forces would remain on “high alert” after a series of similar operations through the strait.
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