People's Daily, China's leading newspaper, ran a signed article Thursday, saying the newly enacted Anti-Secession Law is designed to "protect peace in the Taiwan Straits."
"The promulgation of the law is the most important measure and represents again hard efforts by the Central government to solve the Taiwan issue peacefully after former Chinese President Jiang Zemin raised eight proposals to promote China's peaceful reunification in 1995," said the article, written by Xu Shiquan, deputy president of the National Taiwan Studies Society (NTSS).
The law, passed Monday at the third session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), is not a "war bill" as secessionist forces in Taiwan preach. It is designed to defeating secessionist' scheme for Taiwan independence so as to protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, the article said.
"The biggest living threat to peace across the Taiwan Straits and even the Asia-Pacific region is their scheme to make Taiwan secede from China."
The law embodies many principles and policies the central government have adopted to promote cross-Straits relations in the past 20 years, such as the central government's consistent stand that "everything can be negotiable under the one-China principle", the article said.
The non-peaceful means the central government would take if the possibilities for peace do not exist are not targeted against the Taiwan compatriots, but secessionist activities to seek Taiwan independence, it said.
"The adoption of non-peaceful means is the last choice we have to make when our efforts for peaceful reunification turn out be totally fertile."
Signs of relaxation of tension in the Taiwan Straits in recent months, including the successful operation of chartered cross-Straits flight in January and February, are achievements made by both the mainland and Taiwan people, but efforts to fight against those secessionist forces should not be lessened, the article said.
People should see clearly that those secessionist forces have so far not intended to drop their scheme for Taiwan independence, it said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2005)