Taipei/Beijing — Chinese bombers and warships conducted drills around Taiwan on Monday, the latest military manoeuvres near the self-ruled island that a senior US official denounced as “coercion” and a threat to stability in the region. The US has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help provide the island with the means to defend itself and is its main source of arms. China has stepped up pressure on Taiwan, whose President Tsai Ing-wen Beijing suspects of pushing for the island’s formal independence, a red line for China which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. “Any attempt to influence Taiwan through threats or coercion, we believe, destabilises the region and threatens stability in the Taiwan Strait,” James Moriarty, chair of the American Institute in Taiwan, said at a ceremony to mark the past four decades of US-Taiwan relations.

China’s People’s Liberation Army said its warships, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft had c...

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