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US-China tensions

US and China dig in heels for Indo-Pacific show of strength

Beijing fires missiles into South China Sea, while Esper tours region

BEIJING/WASHINGTON -- Sino-American tensions in the Indo-Pacific region have risen to heights not seen in decades as China fired four ballistic missiles into the South China Sea on Wednesday, while U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper embarked on a trip to Hawaii, Guam and Palau, where he will visit naval ships taking part in a massive maritime exercise.

The missiles were fired into a no-fly zone between the Paracel Islands and the Chinese island of Hainan, according to U.S. media reports.

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