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Taiwan holds military drill with Paraguay amid China tension

AP  |  Taoyuan 

Taiwanese hosted her Paraguayan counterpart Tuesday at a military exercise in a sign of the island's determination to withstand China's diplomatic onslaught.

The joint land and air training exercise simulated an attempt by Chinese forces to attack a Taiwanese air base in the north of the island.

claims as its own territory and has been whittling away at the self-governing island's pool of diplomatic allies, leaving it now with just 17, including

said inviting Paraguayan to view the exercise alongside Tsai would "help strengthen the friendship between the two countries" and boost future civilian and military exchanges.

and separated amid civil war in 1949. has vowed to bring the island under its control by force if deemed necessary.

Last month, the recalled its envoys to the Dominican Republic, and after decisions by those nations to cut ties with in favor of diplomatic relations with

While formally recognises only China, it remains a close Taiwanese ally and maintains a de facto embassy in the island's capital,

China cut off contacts with shortly after her 2016 inauguration and has repeatedly demanded that she endorse the "one-China" principle that designates Taiwan as a part of China.

Along with poaching diplomatic allies, China has blocked Taiwan's participation in international meetings such as the and has pressured multinational companies ranging from fashion brands to airlines to describe Taiwan as part of China.

Chinese has also sent warships, bombers and fighter planes on training missions circling the island in an attempt to intimidate Tsai's supporters.

Xi has declared that the issue of bringing Taiwan under Chinese control cannot be postponed indefinitely and some analysts believe he is determined to accomplish that feat during his time in office.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 14:55 IST