China on Thursday boasted that nine countries have switched their diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing in recent years, calling it a major outcome of its diplomatic "fight" under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.

Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said at a press conference held on the sidelines of the ruling Communist Party's key congress that China succeeded in "winning" the nine countries that had diplomatic ties with the self-ruled democratic island that Beijing regards as its own.

File photo shows Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) and his Salvadoran counterpart Carlos Castaneda shaking hands in Beijing on Aug. 21, 2018, after signing a document to build diplomatic ties between the two nations while El Salvador severed its relations with Taiwan. (Kyodo)

"The international community's adherence to the one-China policy has become more consolidated," Ma said, adding Beijing's determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is "unshakable and rock solid."

With a "fighting spirit," China's diplomacy will "always stand at the forefront" of protecting national interests, Ma said.

The nine countries include Central American and Pacific nations, such as Nicaragua and the Solomon Islands. China is believed to have urged them to sever ties with Taiwan by offering economic assistance based on its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Taiwan now has diplomatic relations with 14 countries.

China and Taiwan have been separately governed since they split in 1949 due to a civil war. Beijing strongly reacted to a visit to the island in August by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi by staging large-scale military drills, raising cross-strait tensions.

Related coverage:

Major reshuffle of China's top leadership likely to install Xi allies

Taiwan rejects reunification after China's Xi reiterates wish

China's Xi touts 10-yr achievements, renews resolve for Taiwan