China says further steps ready to target Taiwan independence

China says it is prepared to take further steps to counter perceived moves by self-ruling Taiwan toward formal independence following recent war games aimed at intimidating the island's leaders.

Spokesman for the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang told reporters at a Wednesday news briefing that the signals sent by the military exercises "are extremely distinct and clear."

Ma said China would adopt other unspecified measures if the "Taiwan independence forces" continued to "act however they wish."

Taiwan denounced exercises last week in the Taiwan Strait dividing the sides as a threat to regional peace and stability and said it would make no concessions.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and says the two sides, separated amid civil war in 1949, must eventually be united, by force if necessary.