03/14/2005, 00.00
CHINA
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Beijing launches anti-secession law against Taiwan

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - China's pseudo-parliament, the National People's Congress, has passed an anti-secession law which would trigger military action if Taiwan were to declare formal independence. The National People's Congress passed the legislation by an overwhelming majority of 2,896 votes for and none against. Two delegates abstained. The text of the draft calls for the use of "non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity". The draft law says such action could be taken "in the event that the 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China". It does not specify what is meant by "non-peaceful means" but analysts believe it would cover anything from blockade to surgical missile strikes and all-out invasion. The law takes effect immediately.

Premier Wen Jiabao says the law is aimed at peace with Taiwan, not war. Analysts say China hopes the legislation will deter Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian from pushing for independence during his second and final term that ends in 2008.

Npc also appointed President Hu Jintao as Central Military Commission (CMC) chairman. An overwhelming 2,886 delegates voted for Mr Hu, with six voting against him and five abstaining.  Mr Hu, 62, succeeded Mr Jiang, 78, as chief of the Communist Party in November 2002, and as state president four months later. With the today's appointment mr. Hu – who is one of the Fourth Generation – detains all the higher's China dignities.
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