Chinese military pushes for wartime law amid tension over Taiwan: report


China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day unite with the country.


The Chinese military is urging the government to introduce war legislation to defend the country’s sovereignty and national interests by force if necessary amid rising tensions over Taiwan with the US, a media report here on Saturday said.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature, called for an urgent need for such legislation during the current session, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has a significant number of PLA deputies in the NPC, which is considered the stamp of parliament due to the routine approval of the party’s proposals.

PLA deputy Wu Xihua, who was among those pushing for war legislation, said China should step up legislation for the military.

Ye Dabin, another PLA deputy, said, “Taking into account our wartime needs, (we should) begin to study war legislation in a timely and systematic manner,” the Post report said.

Zhang Like, commander of the Shandong Provincial Military District, suggested that China should push for “the introduction of laws such as the mobilization of reserve troops”.

Other deputies called for legislative changes related to the PLA’s overseas operations, which have expanded in recent years, including the establishment of a military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and naval escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia.

Yuan Yubai, a former commander of the Southern Theater Command, said Beijing should strengthen legal research and study international laws related to national defense to improve “the rationality and legitimacy” of the Chinese military’s overseas missions.

Their comments come amid heightened tensions over the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day unite with the country. Beijing is not ruling out the possible use of force to reunite the self-governed island with the mainland.

U.S. military and intelligence officials have warned that conflict over Taiwan could arise as early as 2027, the Post reported.

Beijing claims the US is using Taiwan as a “pawn” to undermine China’s rise, and will continue to take stronger measures to counter the perceived surge in support for Taiwan.

Xie Dan, an expert on military law in Beijing, said Taiwan was a key factor behind the call for wartime legislation.

“In recent years, Taiwan’s ‘independence forces’ have become rampant and pose a serious threat to (China’s) national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xie told the newspaper.

“The anti-secession law clearly sets the conditions for uniting the mother country in a non-peaceful way. But the situation … is more acute,” he said, adding that China faced greater geopolitical risks.

“The tasks of national defense and military construction in the new era, especially the preparations for military battle, have become more critical and urgent, so there are these calls to establish and improve the country’s justice system in wartime,” said Xie.

“The most urgent need for war law right now is to adapt to the needs of hi-tech warfare and reserve force mobilization, requisition strategic resources and further strengthen the integration of military and civilian development.” China has accelerated legislation related to the military in recent years, including amending both the military service law and the national defense law to strengthen surveillance along its borders.

Last month, Chinese lawmakers passed a resolution giving the military the power to change the way it applies the wartime criminal procedure law, the Post quoted an NPC as saying the decision was made to secure military missions and “strengthen the ability of win in battle”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)

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