China's latest official document on Taiwan vows zero tolerance for "separatist activities" and reaffirmed that it would take the self-ruled island by force if necessary.
China has refused to rule out using force to unify Taiwan with the mainland, accusing “external forces” of encouraging and instigating provocative actions by separatist forces.
The statement issued by the Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office and its news department on Wednesday followed almost a week of missile firings and incursions into Taiwanese waters and airspace by Chinese warships and air force planes.
An English-language version of the Chinese statement said Beijing would “work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification."
“But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities," the statement said.
“We will always be ready to respond with the use of force or other necessary means to interference by external forces or radical action by separatist elements," it said.
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One China policy
China’s latest emphasis on its one China policy comes after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-ruled island for less than 24 hours last week.
Pelosi visited Taiwan despite Beijing's warnings that island is a "breakaway province" and that her visit would be in violation of the country's "one-China policy."
Soon after she left Taipei on August 3, Beijing launched massive military exercises last Thursday which were scheduled to end on Sunday.
The Chinese military did not say when the latest drills would end but stated they would "focus on anti-submarine and air-to-ship strikes" and a “blockade” in waters near Taiwan.
It also launched ballistic missiles around Taiwan, some of which fell in waters claimed by Japan to be its exclusive economic zone.
The white paper reiterated that Taiwan has “belonged to China since ancient times. This statement has a sound basis in history and jurisprudence.”
“We are one China, and Taiwan is part of China. This is an indisputable fact supported by history and the law. Taiwan has never been a state; its status as part of China is unalterable.”
It added that “peaceful” cross-Taiwan Strait “reunification is of benefit not only to the Chinese nation but to all peoples and the international community as a whole.”
About 20 Chinese navy and Taiwan navy ships continued to stay close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait as of Wednesday morning, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.
Several Chinese navy ships continued to conduct missions off Taiwan's eastern coast as of Wednesday morning, the source said.