China's tough stance on Taiwan: Drills target 'arrogance' of separatists
China-Taiwan Conflict: The increased frequency of China's military activities has raised the risk of events "getting out of hand".
China said on Wednesday its recent series of drills near Taiwan aimed at combating the "arrogance" of separatist forces, while the frontrunner to be Taiwan's next president said China was trying to "annex" the island.
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has said this month that it had observed dozens of fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby.
The increased frequency of China's military activities has raised the risk of events "getting out of hand" and sparking an accidental clash, the island's defence minister has warned.
Asked about the spurt in drills, and Taiwan's concerns about increased risk, Zhu Fenglian, the spokeswoman of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, acknowledged the drills by the People's Liberation Army.
"The purpose is to resolutely combat the arrogance of Taiwan independence separatist forces and their actions to seek independence," Zhu told a regular news briefing in Beijing.
"The provocation of Taiwan independence continues all day long, and the actions of the People's Liberation Army to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity are always ongoing," she added.
She urged people in Taiwan to distinguish between "right and wrong", resolutely oppose independence for the island, and work with China to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
China has a particularly strong dislike of William Lai, the frontrunner to be elected president at the island's January elections for previous comments in support of independence.
However, he says he does not seek to change the status quo and has offered talks with Beijing.
The situation across the Taiwan Strait had "not improved due to the passage of time", said Lai, now the island's vice-president.
"China's attempts to annex Taiwan have not changed," he said at an event in Taipei on Wednesday for the 37th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP.