12/27/2004, 00.00
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Anti-secession legislation proposes reunification through use of force

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopts draft anti-secession legislation. Congress is scheduled to discuss it in March.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) yesterday adopted draft anti-secession legislation to thwart Taiwan's independence bid and prepare for possible use of force to reunify the country. The proposal was discussed and adopted during the committee's thirteenth annual session under way in Beijing from December 25 to 29.

Considered "extremely necessary", the bill will be sent to the full session of the NPC for passage.

Details about the draft bill are still unknown, but some analysts believe they are designed to prevent Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian from adopting a new constitution by referendum in 2006 and declare independence in 2008.

Should it become law, the bill would give mainland China the legal bases to use force against the island in case of a declaration of independence.

Not everyone on the mainland wants war in the Strait of Taiwan. Coastal regions across from Taiwan are economically closer to Taipei than Beijing.

But committee members said the bill was "very timely" given the recent threats to cross-strait peace by the Taiwanese "separatists".

"They believe the anti-secession law will mobilise Taiwan compatriots to be together with the common effort of all Chinese people in the great undertaking of promoting peaceful reunification," this according to China's state news agency Xinhua.

Taiwanese sources have said the law is likely to contain a clause that explicitly says the island is part of China and that all Chinese people, including Taiwanese residents, have the responsibility to protect and safeguard the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Xinhua reported that the NPC chairman Wu Bangguo attended the session. 

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