Taiwan tensions raise fears of US-China conflict in Asia

BANGKOK (AP) — After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday, Beijing has toned down the saber rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. Experts agree a direct conflict is unlikely at the moment, but also that the future of self-ruled Taiwan is increasingly becoming a powder keg where a mishap or miscalculation could lead to confrontation while Chinese and American ambitions are at odds. China seeks to return the strategically and symbolically important island and the U.S. sees Taiwan in the context of broader challenges from China. Leader Xi Jinping on the weekend again emphasized reunification of the nation must and will be realized.