BEIJING, January 25. /TASS/. Taiwan is an integral part of China, so the island will never become a separate and independent state, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a news briefing.
"Taiwan will never be a country, Taiwan's independence will never be achieved. The plot of external forces to split China will never succeed," Wu said.
He added that "for the unification of the motherland, Taiwan must be returned."
"The Chinese People's Liberation Army will respond with action. It will always be a great wall of steel protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Wu stated.
On January 13, Taiwan held elections of its chief executive and members of the Legislative Yuan (parliament). The incumbent deputy chief of staff representing the Democratic Progressive Party, Lai Ching-te, won the race with 40.05% of the popular vote to become the island's new leader. He will take office in May.
Taiwan has been governed by its own administration since 1949, when remnants of the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) fled to the island after being defeated in the Chinese Civil War. Since then, Taiwan has retained the flag and some other attributes of the former Republic of China, which existed on the mainland before the Communists came to power. According to Beijing’ official position, supported by most countries, including Russia, the island is one of China's provinces.