Taiwan: China's Anti-Secession Law aimed at Taiwan Leaders
The anti-secession law to be enacted by Beijing will provide for trials of Taiwan officials and military leaders before a special court after mainland China takes Taiwan in a war, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Jaushieh Joseph Wu warned Monday.
In an interview with local media, Wu said the anti-secession law, which is to be deliberated by Beijing's National People's Congress in March, would provide Beijing with the legal means to put Taiwan's civic and military leaders on trial should they lead their country into war with the mainland. Citing information from unnamed sources, Wu said the law also stipulates that Beijing leaders who unwittingly prompt Taiwan into declaring independence through their inaction should be charged with dereliction of duty.
Under the law, Wu said, Taiwan would be considered a part of mainland territory and any action contributing to Taiwan independence would be a punishable crime, which means Taiwan businessmen operating on the mainland would run the risk of being jailed, rather than just having their books audited by the Beijing authorities, for their support for the Republic of China.
As the members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union have been branded by the mainland as supporters of Taiwan independence, they face the possibility of being prosecuted and taken to the mainland should they visit countries that do not recognize Taiwan, while international groups who support Taiwan might be deemed as interfering in China's internal affairs, Wu went on. By enacting the law, Wu said, the mainland is intent on defining its ties with Taiwan on its own terms and pre-empting other countries support for Taiwan under the pretext that it is meddling in China's domestic affairs.
This could alter Washington's view of the dispute across the Taiwan Strait to Taiwan's detriment and could rob the United States of its right to interpret the dispute in its own way. Wu will be a member of the entourage of Lee Yuan-tseh, president of the Academia Sinica, when he visits Washington as President Chen Shui-bian's envoy to attend the second inauguration of U.S. President George W. Bush later this month. He said he will make a case for Taiwan's opposition to the mainland's attempts to enact the law during his visit to Washington by stressing the law's disturbing effects on the stability across the Taiwan Strait. In order to force the mainland to give up its attempt, Wu said, Taiwan will do all it can to bring international pressure to bear on the situation.