China's military has become alarmed by what it sees as US President-elect Donald Trump's support of Taiwan and is considering strong measures to prevent the island from moving toward independence, sources with ties to senior military officers said.
Three sources said one possibility being considered was conducting war games near the self-ruled island that China considers as a breakaway province. Another was a series of economic measures to cripple Taiwan.
It was not clear whether any decisions had been taken, but the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Taiwan issue had become a hot topic within the upper echelons of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) in recent weeks.
Trump, due to take office on Jan 20, angered Beijing this month by speaking to Taiwan's president by telephone, breaking decades of precedent and casting doubt on his incoming administration's commitment to Beijing's "one China" policy. Beijing fears this could embolden supporters of independence in Taiwan.