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The US guided-missile destroyer John McCain made a transit through the Taiwan Straits last Wednesday. This was the fourth passage through the sensitive waters by US naval vessels since President Joe Biden took office in January and coincided with a naval drill by the People’s Liberation Army Navy carrier strike group near the island of Taiwan in the South China Sea.

Though the US claimed it was a routine crossing, such a move can be interpreted in a different way: secessionists on the island may be emboldened to go even further in their attempt to split the island from the motherland. Indeed, an official of the independence-minded administration on the island said with great bravado on Wednesday that Taiwan would “fight a war if we need to fight a war, and if we need to defend ourselves to the very last day, then we will defend ourselves to the very last day”...

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