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Chinese warplanes — including advanced fighters and nuclear-capable bombers — have conducted more than 150 sorties into airspace near Taiwan in the first five days of October, setting single-day records on three of those and raising the specter of military miscalculation.

The incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) — which differs from sovereign airspace — and the confusion over the moves’ intended signals have unleashed a flood of concern in both Washington and Tokyo. The two capitals both view Taipei as a crucial, albeit informal, partner in combating Beijing’s attempts to change the status quo in the region via coercion.

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