China’s defence ministry on Thursday accused Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party of pushing the island toward a “dangerous situation of war” at an “accelerated” pace, after reports that Taipei planned to buy military drones. China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory and relations have soured since the island’s independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016. Beijing has in recent years ratcheted up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan and the number of warplane flights around the island has spiked following last August’s visit by Nancy Pelosi, then-speaker of the US House of Representatives. Chinese Ministry of Defence spokesman Wu Qian said Thursday the DPP was “pushing Taiwan into a dangerous situation of war and violence at an accelerated pace”, in response to reports this month that Taipei was budgeting to buy thousands of military drones in the next four years. China has repeatedly pointed a finger at Taiwan’s ruling DPP while stepping up its military intimidation of the island. Wu said Thursday that the Chinese armed forces would “strengthen its military training and preparation for war”. He also hit out at the United States’ influence in the South China Sea waters claimed by China, but said “the channels of communication have always been open” between Beijing and Washington. Also on Thursday, Taiwan said that a Chinese flotilla led by the Shandong aircraft carrier had entered the Pacific Ocean via the Bashi Channel, a waterway that separates the island from the Philippines.