(WorldNews Network) China has said its recent live-fire exercises in the tense South China Sea were a warning to Taiwan, threatening to unify the self-ruled island with the mainland by force if necessary, Newsweek reports.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has intensified his country’s military posture around the island nation of Taiwan, hosting a historic naval parade and other large displays of firepower in recent weeks.

An Fengshan, a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said during a press conference Wednesday that these measures were intended as a message to Taiwanese officials who consider their autonomous government to be entirely independent of the leadership in Beijing.

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