Wed, Dec 22, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan targeted by new anti-secession law, Beijing says

SOLE PURPOSE The intent of its proposed anti-secession law is to `contain Taiwan independence forces,' Chinese officials say

AFP , BEIJING

Beijing said yesterday that a proposed anti-secession law is aimed at preventing Taiwan from becoming independent, but refused to say whether it will set a deadline for the country to unify with China.

"The initiation of the anti-secession law by China's National People's Congress has [as] its sole purpose containing Taiwan independence forces' separatist activities," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao (劉建超) said.

Asked whether Beijing would impose a timeline for unification and what measures it would take if Taiwan failed to comply, Liu declined to elaborate.

He insisted the law would help promote peace in the region.

"This action is beneficial to maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region," Liu said at a regular briefing.

"The Chinese government's standpoint is to achieve peaceful reunification and `one country, two systems.' This is the basic policy for achieving national unification."

Liu, however, reiterated that China would not rule out the use of force.

"We will use our utmost sincerity and efforts to achieve the goal of peaceful unification, but we cannot bear Taiwan independence and will not allow any forces using any excuses or means to separate Taiwan from China," Liu said.

The Chinese government announced last week that the national legislature or National People's Congress would consider a draft anti-secession law at its Dec. 25 to Dec. 29 meeting.

Sketchy reports in the state-run media had not previously mentioned Taiwan by name, and Liu's comments were the first identifying it as the target.

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