China has branded allegations that its proposed anti-secession law will damage cross-Straits relations as "groundless."
Wu Jianmin, a spokesman for China's top advisory body, said the proposed law is designed "partially to promote cross-Straits relations and the prospect of a peaceful reunification."
"You have not seen the (proposed) law. How can you say it will undermine cross-Straits relations?" Wu demanded of reporters at a press conference on the eve of the third session of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing.
Chinese lawmakers, legal experts and CPPCC members are reported to have been calling for the drafting of an anti-secession law since 2001 but details have yet to be released to the public.
"It (the proposed law) will help efforts to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It will oppose Taiwan's secession from China," he said.
Wu stressed the planned law is aimed at maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and is meant to check Taiwanese "independence moves," which are "a threat to peace."
"Everybody longs for peace and stability, but at present the biggest threat to peace and stability in our region comes from Taiwan 'independence' forces, so this (proposed) law aims to contain pro-'independence' activities in Taiwan," claimed Wu, who also repeated recent remarks by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of then-president Jiang Zemin's speech on Taiwan issues made on January 30, 1995.
According to Jia, the planned anti-secession law will be in compliance with the fundamental interests of the entire Chinese nation.
The draft law was submitted for its first deliberation to the 13th session of the Standing Committee of the 10th People's National Congress (NPC) held late December.
It is expected to undergo a final review and be passed at the full session of the NPC which starts on Saturday thus providing another legal base for China's national reunification cause.
China's constitution has a constitutional basis for formulating the law against secession.
Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, in December described the enactment of the law as "extremely necessary" and "very timely."
Turning to the recent decision by the CPPCC National Committee to induct 80 new members, including nine from Hong Kong and two from Macao, Wu said that having more people from the regions would be conducive to the strengthening of communications between the two special administrative regions and the central government.
Asked whether the CPPCC National Committee would undergo any major personnel changes at the upcoming session, Wu said any such moves must go through certain democratic procedures, and therefore can't be predicted before the formal start of the session today.
Wu said according to the proposals and suggestions received from CPPCC members, several vital topics are at the top of their agenda this year:
To begin building a harmonious society and ensure social stability;
To strengthen macro-control and ensure stable economic development;
To renew efforts to increase support for the "three rurals," agriculture, rural economy and rural inhabitants and reduce rich-poor and regional gaps;
To change the growth pattern and balance regional development; and
To deepen reforms of the social security system and State-owned enterprises, and guide the private economy forward.
The main functions of the CPPCC, a patriotic united front organization of the Chinese people, are to conduct political consultation, exercise democratic supervision and take part in the discussions and the handling of state affairs.
(China Daily March 3, 2005)