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China says it won’t rule out using force to reunify Taiwan

BEIJING — China says it will not “renounce the use of force” in efforts to reunify Taiwan with the mainland and vows to take all necessary military measures to defeat “separatists.”

In a national defense white paper released Wednesday, China listed among its top priorities its resolve to contain “Taiwan independence” and combat what it considers separatist forces in Tibet and the far west region of Xinjiang.

Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the threat of Taiwan separatism is growing and warned that those who are seeking Taiwan independence will meet a dead end.

The white paper also pointed to U.S., Japanese and Australian moves to beef up their military presence and alliances in the Asia-Pacific as bringing uncertainties to the region.

The U.S. deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea has severely undermined the regional strategic balance, the report said. It further noted Japan’s reinterpretation of its post-World War II constitution to allow its military to operate farther from its shores.

China’s military expansion in recent years has prompted concerns among other Pacific countries in a region long dominated by the U.S. Navy.

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