The following are excerpts from China's draft Anti-Secession Law, as read by Wang Zhaoguo to the National People's Congress on Tuesday.
Many people in Taiwan have voiced concern at the bill
I am now entrusted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress to make explanations on the Anti-Secession Law.
Resolving the Taiwan question and accomplishing China's complete reunification is one of the three historic tasks of our party and our country.
We have made unremitting efforts over the years to develop stronger relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and promote a peaceful reunification of the motherland.
In recent years, however, the Taiwan authorities have intensified their "Taiwan independence" activities aimed at separating Taiwan from China.
Therefore, the legislation begins by making clear that this law is formulated, in accordance with the constitution, for the purpose of opposing and checking Taiwan's secession from China by secessionists in the name of "Taiwan independence".
The 16th Party National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party stated, "There is but one China in the world, and both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division."
This is our principled position on the Taiwan question, a position that enjoys the support of the entire Chinese people.
The legislation reaffirms the spirit of the 16th Party National Congress and further makes it clear that safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity is the common obligation of all Chinese people, the Taiwan compatriots included.
We have consistently stood for reunifying the country through peaceful means.
Use of force
No one is more desirous of achieving a peaceful reunification than we are.
So long as there is a glimmer of hope for peaceful reunification, we will exert our utmost to make it happen rather than give it up.
At the same time, let us be absolutely clear that safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity is the core interest of our country and our nation and the common obligation of all Chinese people, our Taiwan compatriots included.
We have never forsworn the use of force. No sovereign state can tolerate secession, and every sovereign state has the right to use necessary means to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Using non-peaceful means to stop secession in defence of our sovereignty and territorial integrity would be our last resort when all our efforts for a peaceful reunification should prove futile.
The draft legislation provides that in the event that the "Taiwan independence" forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The draft legislation also provides that the State Council and the Central Military Commission are authorized to decide on and execute non-peaceful means and other necessary measures and promptly report to the Standing Committee of the NPC.
It needs to be stressed here that should the "Taiwan independence" forces insist on going their own way and leave us with no other option but to employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures, such means and measures would be completely targeted against the "Taiwan independence" forces rather in any way against our Taiwan compatriots.
The state shall exert its utmost to protect the lives, property and other legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan civilians and foreign nationals in Taiwan and to minimise losses.