If Taiwan moves towards formal independence, Communist China will take “drastic measures,” according to a Beijing official.

The warning came from Chinese government spokesman Ma Xiaoguang with the Taiwan Affairs Office. 

“If separatist forces in Taiwan seeking independence provoke, exert force or even break through any red line, we will have to take drastic measures,” Ma said Monday during a media briefing. 

Ma says China is willing to seek “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan but would not tolerate any moves towards formal independence. 

The Communist regime claims the democratic island nation as its own territory. In recent months, China has increased military and diplomatic pressure to assert its claim.

In November, the regime said it will hold those who support Taiwan’s independence criminally liable for life, including top officials in the Taiwanese government.

In addition, a record number of Chinese military jets crossed into Taiwan’s defence zone earlier this year.

In her New Year’s address, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said despite the recent tensions between the two nations, military conflict is not the answer.

“We must remind the Beijing authorities to not misjudge the situation and to prevent the internal expansion of ‘military adventurism’,” Tsai said Saturday during her speech broadcast live on Facebook.

“The military is definitely not an option for solving cross-strait disagreements. Military conflicts would impact economic stability,” Tsai added. “Our two sides jointly shoulder the responsibility of maintaining regional peace and stability.”

In October, Taiwan asked for Canada’s help with its diplomatic affairs. Taipei Economic Cultural Office Director General Lihsin Angel Liu said she wanted the Canadian government to increase its support for the island nation’s inclusion in international organizations.

“We hope that Canada can continue to give us more support regarding our meaningful participation in the [world] public health agency,” said Liu. 

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