BEIJING: China has warned that it was ready for war if there was a move toward Taiwan’s independence.
Chinese defense ministry accused the United States of undermining global stability and denouncing its arms sales to the self-ruled island.
Earlier this month the US had approved sales of weapons requested by Taiwan, including tanks and Stinger missiles estimated to be worth about $2.2 billion.
In response, China announced it would impose sanctions on U.S. firms involved in such a deal.
China would make its greatest effort for peaceful reunification, defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian said.
“However, we must firmly point out that seeking Taiwan independence is a dead end,” Wu told a news briefing on a national defense white paper, the first in several years to outline the military’s strategic concerns.
“If there are people who dare to try to split Taiwan from the country, China’s military will be ready to go to war to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity,” he said.
The US is main supplier of arms to Taiwan, which China deems a wayward province. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.
Washington has no formal ties with democratic Taiwan, but is bound by law to help provide it with the means to defend itself.
The Chinese defense document said the United States had “provoked intensified competition among major countries, significantly increased its defense expenditure … and undermined global strategic stability.”