TAIPEI--Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday China's military ambitions are becoming more apparent and that the island's defense budget would "grow steadily" each year.

Tsai, who recently accused China's military of causing military "instability" in the region, has come under increasing pressure from China since she took office early last year. Her ruling Democratic Progressive Party's pro-independence stance has riled Beijing.

China considers self-ruled and democratic Taiwan to be an inalienable part of its territory, and has never renounced the use of force to bring what it views as a wayward province under Chinese control.

Beijing suspects the bespectacled Tsai of promulgating an independence agenda for the island, a red line for China. Tsai, however, has stressed she wants peace across the Taiwan Strait while defending Taiwan's autonomy and way of life.