Fri, Mar 04, 2005 - Page 3 News List

MAC says `Beijing's new law a blank check for PLA

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

Beijing's proposed "anti-secession" law is a blank check written out to the Chinese military, according to the Mainland Affairs Council.

Speaking at a forum yesterday, council Vice Chairman David Huang (黃偉峰) warned that the law could destroy regional peace and stability and make violence across the Taiwan Strait a legal obligation.

"From what we know about the law -- that it targets Taiwan and allows for non-peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue -- the law is a blank check written out to the People's Liberation Army," Huang said.

"Attacking Taiwan is a political problem right now, but once it is codified in law, it could be a mandatory legal stipulation," he said, adding the legalization of policy often results in the loss of flexibility.

Despite the council's efforts to stave off the bill's passage through international intervention, approval of the law seems unavoidable.

Beijing's top advisory body, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), convened yesterday, and the National People's Congress opens tomorrow.

The "anti-secession" law is due to be explained by party leaders on Tuesday before it is put to vote on March 14.

When asked what sort of measures the government is prepared to take to counter Beijing's legislation, Huang refused to comment, saying the timing was not right.

"The game that Beijing is playing is a pre-emptive one. They're making clear their bottom line -- a red line. If Taiwan were to respond with its own pre-emptive measures and draw its own red line, then we would be restricted -- tensions would intensify," Huang said.

"Our best strategy would be to initiate another game," he said. "A small country loses out when it tries to play tit for tat."

He said that the government would be taking a wait-and-see attitude to Beijing's legislation and that it was prepared to respond to various possible situations.

Beijing continues to insist that the law will bring about regional peace and stability. The Xinhua New Agency quoted Wu Jianmin (吳建民), a CPPCC spokesman, on Wednesday as saying, "Everybody longs for peace and stability, but the biggest threat to peace and stability in our region comes from Taiwan `independence' forces, so this law aims to contain pro-independence activities in Taiwan."

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