Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 19:11 UK

Taiwan warns of China 'threat'

Taiwanese military spokesman in Taipei on 20 October 2009
Taiwan's military wants China to scale back its missiles

Taiwan's defence ministry has said China's military strength is far more than it needs for self-defence and it is a threat to the Asia-Pacific region.

It warned unless 1,500 missiles aimed at Taiwan were removed, both nations would find it hard to trust each other.

Relations had been improving since the Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, took office last year.

China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory, has not yet responded to the Taiwanese defence report.

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when the defeated Nationalist government fled to the island as the Communists, under Mao Zedong, swept to power.

The documents say that China had "continued its arms build-up to the point that it has tipped the military balance in the Taiwan Strait", the AFP news agency reported.

The Taiwan News said the ministry wanted better communication with China and that "psychological warfare" was also a concern.

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