China has announced it will enact an anti-secession law, in a move analysts said was aimed to stifle any ambitions in Taiwan for formal independence.
The bill is thought to be aimed at Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian
The official Xinhua news agency said a draft law would be submitted for discussion to China's parliament, the NPC, from 25-29 December.
The agency did not specify the bill's purpose, or give any further details.
But it comes amid continuing tensions between China and Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway province.
"Over the past year, quite a few Chinese lawmakers and senior government advisors have proposed that 'a law on national reunification be enacted as soon as possible'," the Xinhua report said.
Analysts say an anti-secession law may be more palatable to Washington than a reunification law.
The Taiwanese government is strongly opposed to reunification with the mainland, and the US is bound to come to Taiwan's defence in the event of any Chinese attempt to impose this.
China has also warned that any moves by Taiwan's government to seek formal independence would mean war.
Relations between the two have worsened since Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian took office in 2000. Following his re-election in 2004, he has pledged to push for a new constitution for Taiwan - a move Beijing believes is aimed at pursuing independence.