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South China Sea

Dozen Chinese aircraft conduct drills near Taiwan-controlled islands

Tensions rise above Pratas islets in the South China Sea

A pilot prepares to take off on a F-CK-1 Ching-kuo indigenous defense fighter at an Air Force base in Tainan, Taiwan on Jan. 26.   © Reuters

TAIPEI (Reuters) -- Taiwan's air force scrambled for a second straight day on Saturday after a dozen Chinese fighter aircraft and bombers carried out drills close to Taiwan-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea, the defense ministry in Taipei said.

Beijing, which claims Taiwan as Chinese territory, has carried out repeated air missions in the southwestern corner of Taiwan's air defense identification zone in recent months, mostly near the Pratas Islands.

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