CHINA / POLITICS
Taiwan abuzz over potential national reunification law
Published: Dec 22, 2020 08:23 PM Updated: Dec 22, 2020 08:23 PM

Vessels in the Taiwan Straits, July 20, 2017. /CGTN Photo


Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan said on Tuesday that if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) separatist authority continues its provocation, the road to reunification will be formally put on the agenda from the legal perspective, as the possibility of a new legislation to push reunification with the island is being hotly discussed across the Straits.

Taiwan media Tuesday reported that the US Congress had passed the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020. The Act says that the US should "routinely sell arms to Taiwan" and "support Taiwan's participation in international organizations." 

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said last week that the Chinese mainland will take all necessary measures to resolutely smash any secessionist attempts and safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, in response to a question on whether the mainland will introduce "the national reunification law." The office neither confirmed nor denied it. 

Mainland and Taiwan observers said that promoting reunification through legal means cannot be ruled out, especially after the Taiwan Affairs Office confirmed that the mainland is formulating a blacklist of "diehard Taiwan secessionists" in November.

Zhang Wensheng, a deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, told Global Times that the anti-secession law enacted in 2005 drew a redline to Taiwan secessionists. And the possible imposition of the reunification law would mark a substantive stage in China's reunification.  

"The reunification law would be a firm response to US interference and Taiwan secessionists who seek separation from the mainland. The law, like the national security law for Hong Kong, may contain more detailed rules on the punishment of Taiwan secessionists, as well as countermeasures against external interference and collusion with them… It may even include provisions for future political negotiations and the signing of agreements," said Zhang. 

Shaw Chong-hai, a columnist and former head of the school of social sciences at Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, said that the "national reunification law is like "an arrow on the bowstring" and is probably being drafted. 

"In 2020, several anti-mainland and pro-secessionism proposals emerged in Taiwan, alerting Beijing that the island's 'move toward independence' is on the way of being legalized," Shaw told Global Times.

Some cross-Straits affairs observers said that in the two sessions in 2021, another noteworthy development is whether Beijing may announce a "reunification timetable."

"If a reunification timetable is announced publicly next year, it will lead to high tensions in Taiwan society, which cannot be eased by a US arms sale," Tang Hsiang-lung, a Taiwan-based commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.


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