The following is a report by the Law Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) on the result of the deliberation of the draft Anti-Secession Law, delivered by Yang Jingyu, chairman of the committee, at the third meeting of the Presidium of the Third Session of the 10th NPC convened on March 10, 2005:
On March 8, various delegations held full meetings or panel discussions to deliberate the draft Anti-Secession Law, studying at the same time the important speech delivered on March 4 by Comrade Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), president of the state and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
The NPC deputies voiced their unanimous support for the speech of Comrade Hu Jintao, holding that the speech, which had set forth four-point guidelines on the promotion of cross-Straits relations under new circumstances, was of great importance to the successful enactment and implementation of the Anti-Secession Law.
The deputies reached a consensus that it is a solemn responsibility placed by the Constitution on the entire Chinese people, the Taiwan compatriots included, to resolve the Taiwan issue and complete the great cause of reunifying the motherland. For a long period of time, we have made unremitting efforts to this end. Over the recent period, however, the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces have stepped up their activities to split the country, and have increasingly become the biggest obstacle for the development of cross-Straits relations and the greatest actual threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. In order to oppose and check the secessionist activities of the "Taiwan independence" forces, promote the peaceful reunification of the motherland, maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and defend the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation, it is absolutely necessary to enact the Anti-Secession Law.
The explanations on the draft Anti-Secession Law made by Wang Zhaoguo, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, have presented in an explicit and comprehensive manner the background, guiding principles and aim of this legislation, as well as the main contents of the draft law. The draft law has manifested our consistent stand and utmost sincerity to seek peaceful reunification, and at the same time, demonstrated the common will and firm determination of all Chinese people to resolutely oppose "Taiwan independence" and defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity. The deputies suggested the draft law be submitted for vote and adoption at this meeting. At the same time, some deputies have proposed a number of revisions to the draft law.
The Law Committee held a meeting on March 9 to study, one by one, the deliberation opinions from various delegations and the deliberation opinions of the 13th session of the 10th NPC Standing Committee, and to further examine the draft law, article by article. The Law Committee has reached the conclusion that generally speaking, the draft law is already mature and feasible, and at the same time, proposed the following revisions:
1. Some deputies noted that it is clearly stated in the explanations on the draft Anti-Secession Law that the judgment made at the 16th National Congress of the CPC that "There is but one China in the world, and both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division" is our principled position on the Taiwan question, which has won the support of all Chinese people, and proposed the Anti-Secession Law should present this principled position in a concentrated and complete manner.
The Law Committee, after careful consideration, suggested that in line with the above mentioned proposal, Article 2 of the draft law should be presented as follows:
"There is only one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division. Safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity is the common obligation of all Chinese people, the Taiwan compatriots included." "Taiwan is part of China. The state shall never allow the 'Taiwan Independence' secessionist forces to make Taiwan secede from China under any name or by any means."
2. Section 2, Article 3 of the draft law stipulated, "solving the Taiwan question and achieving the complete national reunification is China's internal affair and no outside forces should interfere with it." Some NPC deputies noted that as a national law governing the handling of internal affairs, it would be more appropriate to replace "no outside forces should interfere with it" with "it subjects to no interference by any outside forces." Based on this notion, the Law Committee, after careful consideration, suggested that the section be revised as "solving the Taiwan question and achieving national reunification is China's internal affair, which subjects to no interference by any outside forces." (Section 2, Article 3 of the revised draft law)
3. Clause 1, Section 1, Article 6 of the draft law stipulated the state shall take measures "to encourage and facilitate exchanges between residents across the Straits for greater mutual understanding and mutual trust." Some deputies proposed "exchanges between residents" be changed into "personnel exchanges," because "personnel exchanges" has a broader connotation that includes both exchanges of individuals and personnel exchanges organized by social organizations. After careful consideration, the Law Committee suggested that, according to this opinion, the clause be revised as the state shall take measures "to encourage and facilitate personnel exchanges across the Straits for greater mutual understanding and mutual trust." (Clause 1, Section 1, Article 6 of the revised draft law)
4. Article 8 of the draft law provided for three circumstances under which "the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures." The third circumstance referred to "conditions for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted." Some deputies noted that as a "circumstance," changing "conditions" into "possibilities" could help make clear that as long as there is still a gleam of hope for peaceful reunification, we will make redoubled efforts to achieve it. After careful consideration, the Law Committee, based on the proposal, suggested the wording that "conditions for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted" be revised as "possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted." (Section 1, Article 8 of the draft law)
5. Some deputies noted that there are two articles of the draft law that concern provisions on the employment of non-peaceful means, of which Article 8 presents a substantive provision and Article 9 presents a procedural provision. They therefore proposed that the two articles be merged into one of two sections to form a more concise and more explicit article. The Law Committee, after careful consideration, suggested that Article 8 and Article 9 of the draft law be merged into one in accordance with the opinion mentioned above, and be revised as "In the event that the 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity." and "The State Council and the Central Military Commission shall decide on and execute the non-peaceful means and other necessary measures as provided for in the preceding paragraph and shall promptly report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress." (Article 8 of the revised draft law)
Changes have also been made in a few words of the draft law in accordance with the opinions of some deputies.
In addition, the Law Committee has also carefully studied other opinions raised by some deputies and considered that as the issues related to the opinions have been studied repeatedly and carefully in the process of drafting and comment solicitation, it is appropriate not to make any changes.
The revised version of the draft law has been modified in accordance with the above-mentioned proposals and consists of ten articles. The Law Committee proposes it be submitted to the meeting for vote and adoption.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2005)