China's top legislature enacts historic law for peace
The Anti-Secession Law was given unanimous backing by applauding deputies on the last day of the annual session of China's parliament.
The law was passed yesterday by 2,896 votes to zero, with two abstentions by
the third session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC).
China's president, NPC chairman and premier all said the bill seeks a peaceful reunification with Taiwan.
It means the State would use "non-peaceful means and other necessary measures" only as a last resort to stop Taiwan's secession should all efforts for a peaceful reunification prove futile.
Deputies broke out into spontaneous applause when the law was passed.
NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo said the high support rate to the law gave full expressions to the consistent stance of the Chinese mainland for peaceful reunification with its greatest sincerity and utmost efforts.
Premier Wen Jiabao then strongly warned against any foreign interference on the Taiwan question at a news conference after the session.
"Solving the Taiwan question is entirely an internal Chinese affair and brooks no interference by any outside forces," he said.
"We do not wish to see any foreign interference, but we do not fear foreign interference should it occur," he added.
Wen, however, assured the world the law is not a "war bill" nor does it seek to change the cross-Straits status quo.
"The legislation sets a legal framework to prevent Taiwan's secession from China and to promote a peaceful national reunification," Wen said. "It will strengthen and promote cross-Straits relations."
He then expressed his concern over the potential involvement of the United States and Japan in the Taiwan question. The two countries jointly issued a statement last month describing Taiwan as a common security issue.
"The security alliance between Japan and the United States is a bilateral matter between those two countries. Yet we are concerned in China because it is related to the question of Taiwan," Wen said.
He reiterated: "That question is China's internal affair and it brooks no direct or indirect interference by any foreign forces."
The premier said the 10-article law was not targeted at Taiwan compatriots.
"It is not a law for war but one for the peaceful reunification of the motherland," he said. "So long as there is a glimmer of hope for peaceful reunification, we will exert our utmost to make it happen rather than give up."
Wen also appealed to Taiwan compatriots and the international community to understand and support the bill.