At the 13th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) on December 29, 2004, the 163 members unanimously voted for the draft anti-secession law to be submitted to the Third Session of the 10th NPC scheduled for March 5, 2005 for consideration.
After the news was released, people on China's mainland, overseas Chinese, and compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao expressed their support for the legislation. People in Taiwan expressed their thinking through their letters to media. The news also drew continued attention from surrounding countries and regions.
Both Chinese and foreign observers have noticed that this lawmaking move is aimed at putting in legal form the Chinese mainland's years-long policies toward Taiwan. In their opinions, the enactment of this law will exert profound influence on cross-strait relations.
Li Jiaquan, an expert on the Taiwan issue, said in an interview with People's Daily reporter that in recent years, "Taiwan-independence" forces push for "gradual Taiwan independence" by way of "rectification of name" and intended to realize "de jure independence" through so-called "constitutional reform". The "Taiwan independence" forces are carrying out their separatist activities in an increasingly open and unscrupulous manner. The Anti-Secession Law is precisely a law formulated by the Chinese mainland in order to promote cross-Straits peaceful reunification, safeguard cross-Straits peace and stability and curb "Taiwan-independence".
Since leaders of overseas Chinese made a face-to-face suggestion to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to Britain last May, reports on the matter concerning the formulation of an "Anti-Secession Law" by the Chinese mainland have begun to frequently appear in Chinese and foreign media. After the draft of the law to be referred to the forthcoming NPC session for deliberation, people on China's mainland paid close attention to this legislation and quite a few overseas Chinese and compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao also expressed their concern in multifarious ways.
What kind of a law will be the Anti-Secession Law? We can have a vague idea about the features of it if we pay attention to the recent speeches made by leaders of the Chinese mainland.
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, pointed out on December 28, 2004 that the draft anti-secession law is based on China's Constitution, carries out China's fundamental policies on Taiwan, such as "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems". Centered on the theme of opposing and curbing "Taiwan independence" forces' activities to split the country and of promoting the peaceful reunification of the country, it fully embodies the Chinese mainland's consistent position of exerting its utmost efforts and showing its maximum sincerity for a peaceful reunification, and at the same time indicates the common will and firm determination of the entire Chinese people to safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and absolutely not to allow "Taiwan-independence" separatists to split Taiwan from China in whatever name and by whatever means.
During a meeting with representatives of overseas Chinese in Mexico on January 24, 2005, Chinese Vice-President Zeng Qinghong said that the legislative aim of the anti-secession law is, first of all, to stress the use of peaceful means to solve the Taiwan question and realize the country's reunification; second, it is a law against "Taiwan independence". We must resolutely oppose "Taiwan independence" and combat the separatists' attempt to separate Taiwan from China.
A meeting was held on January 28 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the speech titled "Continuing to Endeavor for the Accomplishment of the Grand Cause of Reunification of the Motherland" given by the then President Jiang Zemin. Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said at the meeting that the Anti-Secession Law will define the principles and guidelines on the settlement of the Taiwan question; regularize, encourage and expedite personnel contacts, and economic and cultural exchanges, promote cross-Straits "three direct links" (direct trade, mail, and air and shipping services) and protect the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots; and standardize cross-Straits consultation and negotiations, indicating that any subject can be discussed on the basis of the one-China principle.
The law will be eventually unveiled at the Third Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) in March in Beijing. It can be predicted that the consideration of the draft Anti-Secession Law opposing "Taiwan independence" and defending peace will be one of the most important items on top of the agenda and also the biggest "hot issue" at the NPC and CPPCC sessions this year.
By People's Daily Online