By LI JIANGUO
Chinese leaders have been at great pains to make clear that the new Anti-Secession Law, ratified by the 10th National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, at its annual session held this month, is a “law for peace,” and not a “war authorization law.” The firm belief is held that with implementation of a series of measures established by the Chinese Government related to cross-strait relations, people will understand this law is formulated to oppose secession and maintain the cross-strait status quo until such time as peaceful reunification takes place. It is therefore a preventive, not an offensive law.
There is no hint of intimidation or threats in any part of the law’s text. On the contrary, the tone of the wording is mild and clearly expresses the mainland’s good will and sincerity. Excessive coverage given by some publications of “non-peaceful means and other necessary measures” not only distorts the general meaning of the law, but also goes against the peaceful dialogue and contact across the strait.
Various methods and strategies of peaceful reunification cover four fifths of the law. Among the total 10 articles, eight are related to the idea of “peaceful reunification.” Basic principles and standpoints put forth by Chinese leaders as well as a series of guidelines and policies over the past two decades are written into the law in order to encourage and facilitate, in forms of law, personnel exchange across the strait, encourage and facilitate economic and cultural exchange, promote direct links of trade, mail and air and shipping services across the strait and protect the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots. It also ensures that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait may consult and negotiate any matters based on the principle of one China.
This indicates that the mainland does “do its utmost with maximum sincerity” to seek peaceful reunification. From this point of view, the Anti-Secession Law is a law expressing sincerity, neither a war mobilization order nor a so-called “law for seizing Taiwan.”
The Taiwan question is one that is left over from China’s civil war of the late 1940s; therefore it stands to reason that the two sides in the civil war are to be reunified. It is also the usual practice adopted by many countries to oppose and check secession in accordance with the law. Promulgation of the Anti-Secession Law is not prompted by a sudden impulse. The law is adopted because the secessionists in the name of “Taiwan independence” are trying to unilaterally break the peaceful and stable structure across the strait. Promulgation of the Anti-Secession Law will prevent them from challenging the principle of one China so that peace across the strait will not be influenced by the “trouble” brought by the “Taiwan independence” secessionists.
The international community generally acknowledges the principle of one China. Only if the “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces should cause Taiwan’s secession from China, or possibilities for a peaceful reunification should become completely exhausted, would there be “non-peaceful means” employed. Certainly, if some people from Taiwan provoke the internationally accepted principle of one China, they must take responsibility for their own actions.