A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday that the draft Anti-Secession Law is "conducive to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits."
At a regular press conference, Liu Jianchao said the draft, currently being deliberated at the National People's Congress (NPC) annual session, is aimed at safeguarding the country's unity and the region's peace and stability.
It is intended to oppose and check the secessionist activities of "Taiwan independence" forces and preserve China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.
"As long as it is under the one-China principle, we understand the wish of Taiwan's people to have proper friendly exchanges with people of other countries," Liu said. The best way for this, he said, is to "realize the country's peaceful reunification as soon as possible."
Wang Zhaoguo, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, detailed the draft Anti-Secession Law to the congress on Tuesday. NPC deputies attending the session will vote to ratify it on March 14.
In response to reports that Australia had been warned not to use its treaty with the US to confront China over the Taiwan question, Liu said the Chinese government stuck to its view that bilateral military alliances should be strictly confined to the two parties concerned, calling on both countries to honor their commitments on Taiwan.
Under a US-Australian defense treaty signed after World War II, the two countries agreed to help each other in the event of an attack from or conflict with a third country.
According to Liu, China's special envoy for the Korean Peninsula yesterday headed for Washington to try to revitalize six-party talks aimed at easing tension in the region.
He said the visit by Ning Fukui was part of China's ongoing diplomatic effort to resume negotiations.
Liu did not reveal what message Ning, who accompanied Communist Party of China envoy Wang Jiarui on his Pyongyang visit last month, might deliver to the US government.
Last week Beijing urged Washington and Pyongyang to hold direct bilateral talks under the framework of six-party talks in order to restart negotiations as soon as possible.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing had a phone conversation yesterday morning with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the six-party talks and the Taiwan question, the second such communication within five days.
Liu criticized recent comments by Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura that China should improve what he labeled anti-Japanese education, saying the comments were "totally groundless."
"We're astonished and dissatisfied with the remarks," Liu said.
Japanese militarists invaded China in the 1930s and 1940s, not only causing "irrecoverable damage" to the Chinese people but also bringing much suffering to the Japanese, Liu said.
The government always advocates "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future" and educates its people in the spirit of keeping friendship between the Chinese and Japanese people generation after generation, he said, saying it is totally groundless for the Japanese side to criticize China's history education.
"On the contrary, the Japanese should correctly handle the historical issue, so as to make positive efforts to enhance friendship between the two peoples and improve bilateral ties," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily March 9, 2005)