"It is the sacred responsibility of the Chinese armed forces to stop the 'Taiwan independence' forces from splitting the country," says a white paper on national defense issued Monday in Beijing.
"Should the Taiwan authorities go so far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of 'Taiwan independence', the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost," says the white paper, issued by the Information Office of the State Council.
"The situation in the relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits is grim," the paper says.
The Taiwan authorities under Chen Shui-bian have recklessly challenged the status quo that both sides of the Straits belong to one and the same China, and markedly escalated the "Taiwan independence" activities designed to split China, it says.
Incessantly trumpeting their separatist claim of "one country on each side," they use referendum to engage in the separatist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence," incite hostility among the people on the island toward the mainland, and purchase large amounts of offensive weapons and equipment, the paper says.
"They have not given up their attempt at 'Taiwan independence' through the formulation of a so-called 'new constitution for Taiwan'" says the paper, adding that they are still waiting for the opportune moment to engineer a major "Taiwan independence" incident through the so-called "constitutional reform".
The separatist activities of the "Taiwan independence" forces have increasingly become the biggest immediate threat to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as peace and stability on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.
The United States has on many occasions reaffirmed adherence to the one-China policy, observance of the three joint communiques and opposition to "Taiwan independence". However, it continues to increase, quantitatively and qualitatively, its arms sales to Taiwan, sending a wrong signal to the Taiwan authorities. The US action does not serve a stable situation across the Taiwan Straits, the paper says.
The white paper says the Chinese government continues to adhere to the basic principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" along with the eight-point proposal on developing cross-Straits relations and advancing the process of peaceful reunification of the motherland at the current stage.
So long as the Taiwan authorities accept the one-China principle and stop their separatist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence", cross-Straits talks can be held at any time on officially ending the state of hostility between the two sides, including on the establishment of a confidence-building mechanism in the military field.
"The Chinese people are resolutely opposed to all separatist activities in whatever manifestation aimed at 'Taiwan independence', to foreign interference of any form, and to arms sales to Taiwan or entrance to military alliance of any form with Taiwan by any country in the world," the paper said, stressing "we will never allow anyone to split Taiwan from China through whatever means."