US, Taiwan conducted joint naval drills last month: Reuters

Reuters news agency has reported that the navies of the United States and Taiwan conducted joint drills in the Western Pacific in April.

The news agency on Tuesday quoted four sources in its report on the unpublicized drills.

One of the sources said the days-long exercises were dubbed "unplanned sea encounters" and involved about half a dozen navy ships, including frigates and supply vessels. The source said the exercises were designed to practice "basic" operations such as communications, refueling and resupply.

Taiwan's defense ministry spokesperson Sun Li-fang told reporters on Tuesday that the Taiwanese navy carried out routine exercises in line with the code for unplanned encounters at sea.

The spokesperson declined to confirm details, but did not deny the report of joint drills with the US navy.

His comments appear aimed at sending a message to China, which has been stepping up military pressure on Taiwan, by hinting at cooperation with the US forces.