Taiwan's defense ministry says China is continuing to build up its military deployment targeting the island, despite improved relations.
In a report issued Tuesday, the ministry says China now has up to 1,500 missiles aimed at Taiwanese targets. It says China's military also is taking steps to prevent outside forces from coming to Taiwan's aid in case of an attack.The biennial report says China's aggressive stance toward the self-ruled island stands in the way of establishing trust between the Chinese and Taiwanese militaries.
China and Taiwan split in 1949 following a civil war. Beijing continues to claim the self-ruled island as its territory and has threatened to attack if Taiwan moves to formalize its de-facto independence. Relations have thawed since Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou took over in May 2008.
Taiwan has invited U.S. Veterans' Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to attend a Taiwanese symposium on veterans issues next year. He would be the first cabinet-level U.S. official to visit the island since a 2000 visit by former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater. Shinseki has not yet said if he will attend.
In the past, Beijing has regularly sought to block Taiwan's contacts with other nations. But it softened its six-decade tough stance after President Ma began implementing non-confrontational policies toward mainland China.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.