One of Beijing's top policymakers on Taiwan has warned that relations with the island will face a "severe test" and conflict may be "unavoidable". In an interview with Reuters, Wang Zaixi, vice-minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office, described moves by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian to declare the island a sovereign state as "extremely dangerous behavior that was playing with fire". The coming few years will be "a key and highly dangerous period in the development of the Taiwan situation," he said. Wang also said that China would continue to press for talks with Taipei on the basis of the "one China" principle; but warned that if that was challenged and Chen continued to push for independence it could spark armed conflict.
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