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People's congress prepared to 'fulfil history'
By Ling Hu (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-10 01:49

Ahead of the important March 14 anti-secession law vote, the chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) said its members were ready to fulfil the mission "entrusted by history."

Wu Bangguo: Solid steps
NPC Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo said yesterday NPC members were responsible for safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity. He said this was the core interests of the people.

"The anti-secession legislation is a legal means called for by the people from all walks of life to contain 'Taiwan independence'," Wu said.

He added: "No sovereign state can tolerate secession and every sovereign state has the right to use necessary means to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

But Wu reiterated China's desire for a peaceful outcome for reunification.

"No one is more desirous of achieving a peaceful reunification than we are. So long as there is a glimmer of hope, we will exert our utmost to make it happen rather than give it up," he said.

"We believe that under the joint efforts of all deputies, the national legislature is sure to fulfil the solemn mission entrusted by history to do a good job in enacting this law," he added.

The contents of the draft anti-secession law were unveiled on Tuesday by Vice-Chairman Wang Zhaoguo of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress.

Members will put the draft to vote next Monday.

Legal frame

The NPC Standing Committee took "solid steps" towards its promise of attaining a rather complete legal system for the country before its term ends in 2008, Wu said in his address.

A constitutional amendment proposed by the committee passed the NPC full session last year, "clearly stating the State protects private property and respects human rights," he added.

The committee passed 25 statutes, explanations and directives since then, including a law on renewable sources of energy and an electronic signature act aimed to foster online commerce.

"The new laws followed extensive research, drafting and debate all are very complicated and professional jobs. I think the committee did quite well," said deputy Huang Jinsong from Guangdong Province.

This year, the committee's legislative agenda is economy-focused, said Wu, with plans to make an anti-trust, property and bankruptcy laws in addition to a far-reaching revision of the corporation and the securities law and the law on private income taxes.

The committee also plans to enact a law governing civil servants and state emergency legislation to deal with major natural disasters and accidents.

Legislation aside, the Standing Committee is playing "a more effective role" in overseeing the government and judicial departments, Wu told members.

"The committee sent inspection teams to 15 provinces last year to check the rampant irregularities of embezzling farm land at the expense of agricultural output," he said.

It also conducted law-enforcement inspections and research on trade union organizations, compulsory education and the performance of grassroots courts.

"The chairman's report details how the Standing Committee is fulfilling its constitutional duty in supervising the administration and the judicial system," said He Keng, a deputy and member of the Standing Committee.

He said the committee backed the National Auditing Office last year, which in a harsh-rhetoric report, revealed economic crimes or misconduct by senior officials.

(China Daily 03/10/2005 page1)

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