China-Taiwan trade slips 0.7% in 2016: MAC

Taiwan warns US and China not to use Taipei 'as a chess piece' ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

Taiwan defense minister says China missiles pose threat

She called on Washington to abide by the One-China policy and "cease Taiwan arm sales" in order to preserve Sino-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Ms Chang's comments come after American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday in Beijing that President Donald Trump anticipates a meeting "soon". And Washington is reportedly considering a new arms package for Taipei, a move that would more than likely anger China.

Exports from Taiwan to the mainland rose 0.6 percent to US$73.9 billion dollars, while imports from China to Taiwan fell 2.8 percent to US$44 billion.

President Tsai Ing-wen's Taiwanese government has warned the United States and China to not use Taipei "in their own interest" during the meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

The US is Taiwan's only major political ally and sole arms supplier, and weapons sales to Taiwan have repeatedly upset Beijing.

Feng Shih-kuan said China's latest intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Dongfeng or DF-16, poses a threat to Taipei, according to the Central News Agency of Taiwan and The China Post.

Taiwan has said China is targeting the island with around 1,500 missiles - this is the first time the defence ministry identified the DF-16 as among them.

Media reports last week indicated that the USA may be prepared to sell Taiwan advanced rocket systems, anti-ship missiles and other equipment to help the island defend itself.

The Quadrennial Defense Report (QDR) submitted to Parliament affirmed Taiwan's strategy of "double-level deterrence", which the defense ministry defines as a strategy of not just defense, but of rapid response to prevent an invasion.

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday confirmed for the first time that China has Dong Feng-16 (DF-16) missiles aimed at Taiwan in a bid to increase military pressure on the nation.

Peng Sheng-chu, chief of Taiwan's National Security Bureau, said: "We should seek the greatest advantage in the interaction between the United States and China, to reduce the possibility of Communist China guiding and manipulating the US-China-Taiwan relationship".

"We hope the USA side fully recognises the high sensitivity and serious harmfulness of its sales to Taiwan".

Mr Trump changed tack last month, however, and agreed to honour the policy during a phone call with Mr Xi.

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