Chinese Defense Minister Li Changfu said before the launch of the "Shangri-La Dialogue" in Singapore that China reserves the right to use force to incorporate Taiwan into its territory while continuing to pursue "peaceful reunification."
"We will not promise to refrain from the use of force," China's defense minister told his Singaporean counterpart, Ng Eng, according to Chinese media.
He added that China will not tolerate Taipei, which seeks independence.
"China must be unified," said Li, who was appointed in March, adding that China's leaders will firmly defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Shangri-La Dialogue is seen at the level of defense ministers as the most important security forum in the region and 40 countries have sent their representatives to the forum.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanez will attend, along with the Minister of Defense.