World War 3 on its way ?Or a Peaceful Unification ???

March 14th, 2005  

Topic: World War 3 on its way ?Or a Peaceful Unification ???

World War 3 on its way ??????? Or a Peaceful Unification ????????????

BEIJING: China's parliament has passed a contentious anti-secession bill that mandates the use of military force against Taiwan if the self-ruled island, that Beijing claims as its own, formally declares statehood.

China hopes the legislation, approved in a near unanimous vote to a lengthy ovation from lawmakers today, will deter Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian from pushing for independence during his second and final term that ends in 2008, analysts say.

The National People's Congress passed the bill, which stipulates that China would only resort to "non-peaceful" means against Taiwan as a last resort, on a vote of 2896 and two abstentions. President Hu Jintao quickly signed it.

The law could ratchet up tension in one of the most dangerous flashpoints in Asia. Chen has denounced it as a threat to regional security and sought to rally Taiwan against it.

Despite the legislation, analysts say the People's Liberation Army has no immediate plans to attack Taiwan, over which Beijing has claimed sovereignty since Nationalist troops lost the Chinese civil war on the mainland and fled to the island in 1949.

"I don't think they will immediately attack after enacting this legislation. Nor do I think that they don't dare attack without this law," said Jin Zhong, a veteran China watcher and publisher of Hong Kong's Open weekly magazine.

The bill stresses China could resort to "non-peaceful" means not specifically war leaving Beijing options like economic sanctions or blockades, language analysts said was designed to allay fears in Taiwan, Japan and the United States, which has sworn to defend the island.

The legislative sleight of hand appears to have failed.

The White House has asked China to reconsider its stance and President Chen's Democratic Progressive Party plans a 500,000-strong protest march later this month.

The official Xinhua news agency said the legislation was revised to "help make clear that as long as there is still a glimmer of hope for peaceful reunification, we will make redoubled efforts to achieve it".

Though the changes appeared to be minor, Taiwan's mass-circulation United Daily News saw the revisions as an effort to take the sting out of the legislation.

The vote was the highlight of the 10-day parliament session, which also saw President Hu elected chairman of the ceremonial state Central Military Commission, completing a handover of power from Jiang Zemin that began in 2002.

China also approved Tung Chee-hwa's resignation as Hong Kong chief executive and elected him as a top adviser to parliament, a face-saving promotion that allowed the unpopular leader a graceful exit after eight rocky years in office.


The law says Taiwan is an issue left over from 1949 and an internal affair not subject to interference by outside forces.

Even so, the anti-secession bill will feature in talks between US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, in Beijing on March 20-21. Washington is the island's main supporter and arms supplier.

Chinese officials have stressed repeatedly their desire for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, saying force is a last resort and putting the issue back in the hands of Taiwan's leaders.

"If you are pushing for independence, the bill is tough. If not, it is soft," Zheng Fan, an adviser to parliament, said, noting that the bill also stresses economic cooperation.

The law calls for civilian, educational, scientific, cultural, health and sports exchanges with Taiwan, the lifting of a ban by the island on direct air and shipping links and offers talks to end hostility and lead to peaceful reunification.

Trade, investment and tourism have boomed since the late 1980s, but tensions have been simmering since fence-mending dialogue was frozen in 1999 and Chen swept to power in 2000.,2106,3217033a10,00.html
March 14th, 2005  
Taiwan will introduce a bill today that will allow the island to take pre-emptive military action against the mainland without reference to its parliament.
The Taipei Times said the reason for the draft bill, which would allow the president the power to launch military action, is because of an anti-secession law the mainland passed today.

The bill would require the president to report to the parliament within 30 days, the newspaper said.

China maintains that Taiwan is a renegade province and has passed the anti-secession law to prevent the island from declaring its independence.

Taiwan maintains that it wants peaceful co-existence with the mainland.

But the People's Daily, the Communist Party's organ, said that the anti-secession law was adopted today, with president Hu Jintao rubber stamping the edict.

Taiwan is a democracy, while China is an autocracy.

Chiese legislator Wu Bangguo said that the adoption of the "law" would mean Taiwan would never become independent, and aggression can be used to prevent that. The Daily said that China would only use war to stop Taiwan becoming independent if efforts for a peaceful re-unification failed. It claims that the "Taiwan question" is a domestic affair and no business of countries like the United States.
March 14th, 2005  
I am keeping an eye on this too, although I personally don't see a big deal in particular from either law -- they're the same old things. I am rather convinced that there's not going to be a peaceful unification, because Taiwanese and Chinese obviously want very different things. The scale of the war shouldn't be considered a WW3 though, since I don't see many countries getting involved.