Defence minister made an uncompromising call on Monday for the "reunification" of Taiwan with the mainland, telling a high level defence forum that the process was something "no force" could stop.
China will not stop in its efforts towards "realising the complete reunification of the motherland," Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe told defence ministers and officials from across Asia at the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing.
"China is the only big country in the world that has not yet achieved complete reunification," he said. "It is something that nobody and that no force can stop."
Wei said Beijing wanted to promote peaceful cross-strait relations, but that it would never allow "Taiwan separatists to make reckless moves, and we will never sit by and watch outside forces... interfere".
"Engaging in separatism can only be a dead end," he said.
Wei also repeated Beijing's claim that the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and disputed islands in the South China Sea were an "inherent" part of China's territory, adding: "We can't lose a single inch of the land left by our ancestors."
Beijing claims most of the South China Sea – but the waters are also contested by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan – and the uninhabited Diaoyu islands, which are also claimed by Japan.
Despite its uncompromising territorial claims, Wei insisted that China's military ambitions were not aggressive.
"China's development does not pose a threat to any country," he said. (AFP)