The Chinese government said Wednesday it will not rule out the use of force in its effort to reunite Taiwan with the mainland.
Beijing's latest Defense Ministry report listed the containment of Taiwanese and Tibetan "separatists" as its top priorities. The report also said the United States’ deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea has undermined the regional strategic balance.
"If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will certainly fight, resolutely defending the country's sovereign unity and territorial integrity," said Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian.
Taiwan separated from mainland China in 1949 during civil war. The communist-ruled country, however, does not accept the democratic country’s independence.
The U.S. maintains a one-China policy and doesn’t have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but occasionally supplies the country with defense equipment and support.
China threatened to sanction the U.S. after a $2.2 billion arms sales to Taiwan was tentatively approved earlier this month.
Taiwan said it requested the aid over concerns regarding Chinese military expansion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.