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Chinese mainland: military threat to Taiwan "inconsistent with the facts"

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- A government spokeswoman on Wednesday refuted claims that the Chinese mainland poses a military threat to Taiwan, saying that such claims are "inconsistent with the facts."

Fan Liqing, a spokeswoman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, said during a regular press briefing that cross-Strait relations are "stable" and are witnessing steady improvement.

"Against such a background, it is hard to understand why some people in Taiwan still whip up a hostile sentiment with the so-called 'military threat from the mainland,'" said Fan.

Fan made the remark when a journalist asked her to comment on a recent statement by a Taiwanese defense official that the island will attack the mainland's major ports if the mainland initiates military strikes against the island.

When asked to comment on a recent U.S. decision to sell arms to Taiwan, Fan reaffirmed China's opposition to the arms deal.

Fan urged Taiwan to refrain from behavior that could result in cross-Strait confrontations or harm the peaceful development of both regions.

Fan also responded to a question regarding political negotiations between the mainland and Taiwan, stating that when it comes to the development of cross-Strait relations,the Chinese mainland and Taiwan should proceed in a step-by-step manner and deal with economic issues before moving on to more difficult political issues.