Tuesday, March 08, 2005

China outlines anti-secession bill on Taiwan

Reuters, March 8 11:36 AM

China outlined an anti-secession bill on Tuesday that allows military force to head off any independence bid by Taiwan, legislation that has heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait. While the bill has raised alarm bells in Taiwan, analysts said language in the draft emphasising the use of ”non-peaceful” means as a last resort appeared designed to leave Beijing alternatives to war such as blockades or sanctions.

Beijing has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since their split at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and threatened to attack the democratic island of 23 million if it formally declares statehood. China would use non-peaceful means should “major incidents” entailing Taiwan’s secession from China occur, or should possibilities for a peaceful reunification be completely exhausted, Wang Zhaoguo, a vice-chairman of parliament, told the law-making body. “Using non-peaceful means to stop secession in defence of our sovereignty and territorial integrity would be our last resort when all our efforts for a peaceful reunification should prove futile,” Wang said, quoting from the bill.---------------------

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