Top Asian News 3:54 a.m. GMT

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China sending fighter jets to Thailand for joint exercises

BANGKOK (AP) — The Chinese air force is sending fighter jets and bombers to Thailand for a joint exercise with the Thai military on Sunday. The training will include air support, strikes on ground targets and small- and large-scale troop deployment, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its website. China's expanding military activities in the Asia-Pacific region have alarmed the United States and its allies and form part of a growing strategic and economic competition that has inflamed tensions between the world's two largest economies. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Thailand in June as part of an effort to strengthen what he called America’s “unparalleled network of alliances and partnerships” in the region.