Military bosses from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are aiming the firepower at Taiwan as part of an escalating military threat to the island.

US military bases in Okinawa are within range of the DF-16 ballistic missiles – which can hit targets with “pinpoint precision” from 1,500km away.

Chinese defence minister Feng Shih-kuan issued the shock announcement as tensions over the disputed South China Sea territory threaten to spill over into war.

His comments come after Taiwan revealed it has missiles capable of reaching Chinese shores last week.

Speaking to lawmakers on Monday Feng said the missiles will bolster the “weapons modernization and military hard power” of China.

The minister did not reveal how many missiles had been deployed or where.

But Taiwan claim China is targeting the island with around 1,500 missiles.

Relations between the two countries have crashed to an all time low after Beijing-skeptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year.

According to military experts, the missile has a range of between 1,000 and 1,500km and can carry two or more warheads.

When asked about the threat posed by Taiwan, Feng the island has anti-missile systems capable of shooting down DF-16s.

He said: “We are confident in our surveillance to detect any unfriendly action towards us.

“We have sufficient weaponry to shoot it down outside our territory.”

In January China declared that war with the US is “now a reality”.

Warships, missiles, and nuclear-capable bombers are flooding the region as World War 3 appears to be on the brink in the Pacific.

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