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International relations

Will Taiwan Strait tensions lead to conflict? Five things to know

Chinese aircraft are buzzing island with increasing frequency

TAIPEI -- During a high-profile visit to Taiwan by a U.S. official last week, 18 Chinese aircraft buzzed the self-ruling island claimed by China. Taiwan scrambled fighter jets in response and labeled China's infringement a "serious provocation" and a "threat to regional stability."

Beijing has accused Washington and Taipei of "collusion," saying the military action was necessary for "protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity." China has long claimed Taiwan as part of its "sacred" sovereign territory to be unified with the Chinese mainland, by force if necessary.

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