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Taiwanese vow to rally one million protesting the legislation
Chinese parliament passes law to tame Taiwan, warns US, Japan against ‘interference’

          BEIJING, Mar 14: China's parliament passed Monday a law giving its military the legal basis to attack Taiwan if it moves towards independence, a day after President Hu Jintao told the army to prepare for war, by-passing international appeals, report agencies.
But, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said Monday newly passed anti-secession law authorising force against Taiwan is not a "war bill" warning the United States and Japan against any "direct or indirect interference" on the issue, voicing concern over the US-Japan security alliance.
"The security alliance between Japan and the United States is a bilateral matter between these two countries, yet we are concerned in China because it is related to the question of Taiwan," Wen told a news briefing.
"The question of Taiwan is China's internal affairs and it brooks no direct or indirect interference by any foreign forces."
"This is a law advancing peaceful unification between the sides. It is not targeted at the people of Taiwan, nor is it a war bill," Wen told the conference held shortly after the law was passed.
As it closed its 11-day annual session, the National People's Congress passed the legislation by an overwhelming majority of 2,896 votes for and none against. Two delegates abstained.
The text of the law, according to the official Xinhua news agency, calls for the use of "non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," if all else fails.
This will be necessary "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," the law said.
It does not specify what is meant by "non-peaceful means." The law takes effect immediately.
At the same time, the parliament approved a 12.6 per cent increase in military spending this year to 244.65 billion yuan (US$29.5 billion).
By comparison, the US defence budget is about $400 billion this year, while Japan's is about $47 billion.
On his appointment Sunday as China's top military chief, President Hu Jintao told the army to prepare for war to safeguard the country's territorial integrity.
"All comrades of the military should correctly understand the situation and resolutely perform the military's historical mission in the new century and the new development stage," Hu told parliament.
"We shall step up preparations for possible military struggle and enhance our capabilities to cope with crises, safeguard peace, prevent wars and win the wars if any," he said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan condemned Monday China for passing an anti-secession law threatening the island with war, as lawmakers vowed to rally one million people to protest the legislation.
"The law is tantamount to authorisation of war... as the law's essence is allowing adoption of 'non-peaceful' means against the island if necessary," cabinet spokesman Cho Jung-tai told reporters.
"All people in Taiwan are against the legislation, and we believe the world community also opposes it," Cho said.
Lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) branded Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao "dictators who are sinners in history hampering the development of cross-Strait relations."


TAIPEI: Legislators from the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) burning a Chinese flag outside the parliament building to protest against the anti-secession law here Monday. — AFP Photo
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