Taiwan's president watched naval drills simulating an attack on the island Friday, days before Beijing is set to hold live-fire exercises nearby in a show of force.
Relations between self-ruling Taiwan and China have deteriorated since Tsai Ing-wen came to power almost two years ago, largely because she refuses to accept the "One China" formula governing relations.
Beijing regards the island as its territory -- to be reunited by force if necessary -- even though the two sides split in 1949 after a civil war.
China's growing military is increasingly flexing its muscles and will hold live-fire drills next week in the Taiwan Strait -- the narrow waterway separating the Chinese mainland from Taiwan -- following weeks of naval manoeuvres in the area.
Tsai boarded the Kee Lung destroyer to supervise as troops practised defending against an attack on the northeastern port of Suao.
It was the first time she has supervised a drill from onboard a warship.
"I believe our countrymen will have great faith in the military's combat capabilities and its determination to defend our country after today's drill," Tsai said on the destroyer's deck after it returned to port as the exercise ended.
Tsai said "we are very confident of our military" when asked to comment on Beijing's planned live-fire drill in the Taiwan Strait next week.
"It's a routine drill that our military will fully monitor and has made relevant preparations," she said.
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