China claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s people can decide their future.
China has been carrying out drills near Taiwan since early last month after US House speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, including firing missiles into waters near the island.
Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference in Beijing that China was willing to make the greatest efforts to achieve peaceful “reunification”.
China’s determination to safeguard its territory is unwavering, he added.
China has proposed a “one country, two systems” model for Taiwan, similar to the formula under which the former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
All mainstream Taiwanese political parties have rejected that proposal and it has almost no public support, according to opinion polls.
China has also never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and in 2005 passed a law giving the country the legal basis for military action against Taiwan if it secedes or seems about to.
Taiwan’s government says that as the island has never been ruled by the People’s Republic of China, its sovereignty claims are void.