Taiwan lashes back at Chinese defense minister's threats

Taiwan is lashing out at the Chinese defense minister's renewed threat to use force to assert China's claim to the island, accusing Beijing of creating unease in the region and seeking to "expand its hegemony."

A statement from the Cabinet's Mainland Affairs Council targets comments by Wei Fenghe on Sunday in which he said China would "resolutely take action" to defend its claim to Taiwan and the South China Sea.

The council asserted later Sunday that Taiwan has never been a part of the People's Republic of China and would never accept Beijing's threats. It accused China of "challenging international norms and order" and said Beijing's claim to seek peaceful development had been recognized internationally as "a lie of the ages."

The sides split amid civil war in 1949.