University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor International Professor Michael Wesley says China flying warships over Taiwanese airspace is “very worrying,” but Taiwan is adept at handling Chinese aggression.

“China uses this sort of tactic against Japan over the disputed islands between Japan and China,” he told Sky News Australia.

“It’s done this regularly in the past; these forms of tensions and flaring ups have occurred all the way back to the 1950s.”

Professor Wesley said there is “no question” China’s aggression is increasing, but threatened nations like Japan and Taiwan are “world champions” at diffusing tensions.

“The region’s hopes rest on the competence and cool-headedness of the Taiwanese, and we’ll just have to hope that this is yet another display of really quite self-defeating Chinese attempts to intimidate the Taiwanese,” he said.

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