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The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon sails alongside the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Montreal during Surface Action Group operations as a part of exercise “Noble Wolverine" in the South China Sea.

US Navy/Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Dalton Cooper/Handout via REUTERS

Canada caught up in US-China maritime tensions

This week, China sailed a warship very close to a US destroyer and a Canadian frigate transiting through the Taiwan Strait, which separates the Chinese mainland from the self-ruled island. The encounter follows a recent near-air collision between a Chinese fighter jet and a US spy plane over the South China Sea.

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Soldier miniatures are seen in front of displayed Chinese and Taiwanese flags.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

US vs. China in Taiwan

The US and China may not be in a Cold War — but they could end up fighting a hot war over Taiwan.

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Ari Winkleman

What We’re Watching: US mulls China sanctions, Uzbek talks focus on ‘cooperation,’ US train strike averted

Will the US preemptively sanction China over Taiwan?

If you thought US-China ties couldn't get any icier, think again. Washington is reportedly mulling sanctions in a bid to deter Beijing from invading Taiwan — and nudging the EU to follow suit. No specifics yet, but the package would presumably target the Chinese military, which has upped the muscle-flexing ante near the self-ruled island since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in early August. Such a move would be similar to how the US and its allies warned Russia there would be a steep price to pay for invading Ukraine. Taiwan would welcome preemptive sanctions and has long called for the Americans and, more recently, the Europeans to do more to protect the island against Chinese aggression. But any sanctions would also rile Xi Jinping, who’s up for “ reelection ” next month and has vowed to reunite the island with the mainland before the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic in 2049 – by force, if necessary. While the White House has refused to comment , a sanctions plan could signal that US intelligence believes Xi might make a play for Taiwan sooner rather than later.

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