China hinted Wednesday at resorting to the use of force if the United States obstructs Beijing's bid to reunify Taiwan by encouraging provocations of separatist forces, as it criticized Washington's deepening ties with Taipei in a new white paper on the island.
The report, which was preceded by earlier editions released in 1993 and 2000, came as China responded fiercely to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan last week.
"We will always be ready to respond with the use of force or other necessary means to interference by external forces or radical action by separatist elements," said the paper released by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
Titled "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era," the white paper criticized the United States for "clouding" the one-China principle, under which Washington recognizes Beijing as the "sole legal government of China."
It rapped the United States for "contriving 'official' exchanges" with the territory and increasing arms sales to the island. The document claimed that Washington is colluding in military provocation and inducing other countries to interfere in Taiwan's affairs to help the island expand its "international space."
"We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines," the white paper said.
China's ruling Communist Party said the release of the new paper is conducive to exposing collusion between the "Taiwan independence" separatists and external forces in making provocations as well as their "vicious words and deeds" that attempt to stand in the way of Beijing's bid for reunification with Taiwan.
Some U.S. forces "insist on perceiving and portraying China as a major strategic adversary and a serious long-term threat," the document said, adding, "They do their utmost to undermine and pressurize China, exploiting Taiwan as a convenient tool."
"Relying on external forces will achieve nothing for Taiwan's separatists, and using Taiwan to contain China is doomed to fail," the report said.
Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since they split due to a civil war in 1949. Beijing has since endeavored to bring the island back into its fold.
The United States changed its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan while supplying the island with arms and spare parts to maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities.
Taiwan lodged a stern protest with China over the new white paper on Wednesday, with its Mainland Affairs Council saying the document exposed "arrogant" way of thinking that undermines peace in the Taiwan Strait.
The document stressed China's resolve to national reunification in looking back on history, saying Japan's 50-year occupation of Taiwan through 1945 was "humiliation" and "inflicted agony" on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The document also said once peaceful reunification is achieved under "one country, two systems," it will lay new foundations for China to make further progress and create huge opportunities for social and economic development in Taiwan and bring tangible benefits to the people of the island.
After reunification, Taiwan will enjoy a high degree of autonomy as a special administrative region and the private property, religious beliefs, and lawful rights and interests of the people on the island will be fully protected, it added.
With the approval of the central government of China, foreign countries may set up consulates or other official and quasi-official institutions in Taiwan, the paper said.
In the latest document, however, China retracted its pledge not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan after reunification. That promise was written in the two previous white papers.