A controversial law authorising China to use military force against Taiwan has been passed in parliament. The bill has been designed to allow Beijing to take action should the self-ruled island formally declare independence. Delegates applauded as it was supported almost unanimously.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has defended the law as necessary should peaceful reunification fail, and insists the move is aimed at improving relations with Taiwan: “This law is by no means targeted against the people of Taiwan, it is to oppose and check Taiwan independence forces. It is by no means a war bill, it is for the peaceful reunification of the country.”
Demonstrations have been taking place in Taiwan amid condemnation of the new law. It said it was a ‘serious provocation’ which could severely affect regional security. Taiwan broke away from China during a civil war in 1949. Beijing regards it as a rebel province.