China 'Cannot Be Stopped by Anyone,' Beijing Defense Official Warns U.S.

China's growth "cannot be stopped by anyone," a Chinese official declared on Thursday as he warned the United States against any further contact with Taiwan.

Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for China's Defense Ministry, also fired off bellicose comments at democratic Taiwan, saying its future lied in "national unification" with the mainland.

Ren called his remarks a response to recent reports of "collusion" between Washington, D.C. and Taipei, referring apparently to the Biden administration's vaccine diplomacy as well as its advocacy for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

"China is firmly opposed to any form of official exchange or military contact between the U.S. and Taiwan," said Ren.

"The U.S. needs to fully realize that China's development and growth cannot be stopped by anyone or any force," the Chinese official said at the ministry's monthly press briefing. Taiwan's ruling party, he added, "must be soberly aware that the future of Taiwan lies in national unification."

"Taiwan independence is a dead end. Taiwan independence means war," Ren said as he echoed Beijing's latest warning from January.

The official also addressed the record number of warplanes that Taiwan said had violated its air defense identification zone last week. Between June 15 and 17, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) flew 36 military aircraft near the self-ruled island, Taiwan's Defense Ministry figures show.

The 28 fighter jets, reconnaissance aircraft and nuclear-capable bombers that appeared on the first day represented the biggest single-day incursion since Taipei began publishing records in September 2020. The activity follows an escalating pattern of military pressure against the island, which the Chinese government claims is part of its territory despite having never governed it.

Ren described the move as "necessary action in response to the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and the need to safeguard national sovereignty."

Last week's striking PLA response came in the days after President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga joined leaders at the G7 in a round rebuke of China's domestic and foreign policies.

A June 13 communique released after the G7 summit in England pushed Beijing to cooperate with the next phase of the World Health Organization's investigation into the origins of COVID-19, and also warned against unilateral changes to the status quo in the East and South China seas.

Asked about similar remarks this week, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry told Newsweek it was "not worth commenting on China's emotional reactions."

Beijing's newfound assertive tone is backed by a nationalistic domestic audience that is often most active on China's main social media service, Weibo.

Following a perceived warming of ties between the U.S. and Taiwan in recent years, Chinese users have begun to express their dissatisfaction with the way China has responded—namely, its markedly harsher rhetoric.

Under Weibo posts carrying Ren's comments on Thursday, netizens complained of government inaction.

"I've heard these words since childhood and now I'm an adult. When are [we] going to actually do something?" one user wrote.

"If you want to fight, then fight, stop with all the rhetoric already."

Chinese Troops March In Beijing
Chinese soldiers from the People's Liberation Army wear protective masks as they line up before a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China's entry into the Korean War, on October 23, 2020, in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for China's Defense Ministry, said Taiwan's future lied in "national unification." Kevin Frayer/Getty Images