In total 22 warships participated in the drills as well as fighter jets. China refuses to recognise Taiwan as an independent country. Taiwan is an island situated to the east of mainland China in the Pacific Ocean.

In a statement released by Taiwan’s defence military the forces involved in the exercise were outlined.

It stated: “The warships included two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, La Fayette-class frigates, Ching Chiang-class patrol ships, Tuo Chiang-class corvettes and Kuang Hua-class missile boats.

“Warplanes like F-16s, Mirage 2000s and indigenous defence fighter jets were also dispatched to take part in the joint exercise.”

The military drill included the firing of anti-air and anti-submarine missiles.

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It simulated a potential Chinese attack on the naval port of Suao in eastern Taiwan.

Speaking in January Chinese president Xi Jinping claimed it is “inevitable” Taiwan will be reincorporated into China.

He asserted: “China must and will be united which is an inevitable requirement for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people.

“We make no promise to give up the use of military force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means.”

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He added Chinese unification would “safeguard the interests and well-being of Taiwanese compatriots”.

Taiwan, which still officially calls itself the ‘Republic of China’, began as a refuge for anti-communist forces after they lost the 1946-50 Chinese civil war.

Since the split Taiwan has remained fiercely independent, though only a handful of foreign powers maintain an embassy in the country.

More Taiwanese military drills are expected later this month, which will be open to the media.

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