China's defense ministry said Thursday that Taiwan's military was incapable of preventing the eventual reunification of the autonomously-ruled island with the mainland government in Beijing, despite an upcoming arms package from the U.S. to Taiwan.
Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Wu Qian told a monthly press briefing that Beijing would ultimately assert its territorial claims over Taiwan and that resistance would be useless. Since winning a civil war in 1950, Beijing's communist government has maintained its claim over Taiwan and surrounding islands, where rival nationalist forces fled and have exercised rule ever since. China's recent increased military activity in the South China Sea has caused concern for Taiwan. President Donald Trump, a vocal critic of Chinese policy, has reportedly been planning a massive arms deal to improve Taiwan's security situation, something China said would not deter Beijing's efforts to annex the territory.
"Separatist Taiwan independence forces and their activities are the greatest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at a monthly press briefing, according to Reuters. "It is futile to 'use weapons to refuse unification,' and is doomed to have no way out."
The U.S. has recognized Beijing as the sole government of China since 1979 but has offered military support to Taiwan. Former President Barack Obama was reportedly in the midst of negotiating a $1 billion weapons sale to Taiwan late last year, but shelved it around the time his successor, President Donald Trump, controversially accepted a call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking the political embargo traditionally upheld between Washington and Taipei. The Trump administration has since prepared an even larger arms deal including high-tech missiles and defense systems, Reuters reported.
China and the U.S. have been at loggerheads over influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Beijing has maintained vast maritime claims and has reportedly developed military bases on artificial islands in the South China Sea. Beijing has denied it was expanding its military infrastructure onto to the manmade islands, but has sent its aircraft carrier and warships near Taiwan's territory as a reminder of its claim to what it considered a rogue province of China. Taiwan has held annual military exercises called "Han Kuang" simulating a Chinese invasion of the southern island, The Telegraph reported.
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