Taiwan said Thursday that it was closely watching the Chinese military, which it said posed a rising threat to the region, after a flurry of warplanes passed near the island to join drills with China's Shandong aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

The Chinese military exercises coincide with a NATO summit in Washington, where a draft communique says China has become a decisive enabler of Russia's war effort in Ukraine and that Beijing continues to pose systemic challenges to Europe and security.

The Shandong passed close to the Philippines on its way to the Pacific exercises, Taiwan's defense minister said Wednesday.