Chinese defense minister keeps US in check over Taiwan

China's Defense Minister has warned that whoever tries to split Taiwan from China will end up in self-destruction, apparently referencing the United States.

Dong Jun made the remarks during a speech at the Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore on Sunday.

The conference was held as China steps up military pressure on Taiwan amid growing US involvement.

Dong said the world is now at a crossroads. Referring to his country's relations with the US, he suggested it is important to find ways to build good relations.

The Chinese military conducted drills around Taiwan after President Lai Chin-te of the Democratic Progressive Party took office last month.

Dong said Taiwan is the core of core issues for China, and the current problem is that the DPP authorities are incrementally pursuing Taiwan's independence.

The defense minister said Taiwan falls entirely within China's internal affairs and external forces have no right to interfere.

Dong asserted his country's position as he took part in the conference for the first time.

Some participants criticized China's stance of carrying out military drills around Taiwan.

On the previous day at the conference, Japanese Defense Minister Kihara Minoru stressed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait during a speech. He was apparently referring to China's increasing maritime activities in the East and South China Sea.