The Chinese military is pushing the government to introduce wartime legislation to defend the countrys sovereignty and national interests with force if needed amid the growing tensions over Taiwan with the US, a media report here said on Saturday.
The deputies of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) in the National Peoples Congress (NPC), Chinas legislature, during its current session, called for an urgent need for such legislation, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper reported.
The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has a substantial number of PLA deputies in the NPC, regarded as the rubber stamp Parliament for its routine approvals of the partys proposals.
PLA deputy Wu Xihua, who was among those pushing for wartime legislation, said China should step up law-making for the military.
Ye Dabin, another PLA deputy, said: Taking our wartime needs into account, (we should) begin studying wartime 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 mobilisation of reserve forces.
Other deputies called for legislative changes related to the PLAs overseas operations, which have expanded in recent years and include the establishment of a military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and naval escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.
Yuan Yubai, a former commander of the Southern Theatre Command, said Beijing should strengthen legal research and study international laws related to national defence to improve the rationality and legitimacy of the Chinese militarys overseas missions.
Their comments come amid heightened tensions over the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
China views Taiwan as a breakaway province which will one day unite with it. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to reunify the self-ruled island with the mainland.
US military and intelligence officials have warned there could be a conflict over Taiwan as early as 2027, the Post reported.
Beijing claims that the US is using Taiwan as a “pawn” to undermine Chinas rise, and will continue to take stronger measures to push back against perceived increases in support for Taiwan.
Xie Dan, a military law expert in Beijing, said Taiwan was a key factor behind the calls for wartime legislation.
In recent years, Taiwan independence forces have become rampant, seriously threatening (Chinas) national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Xie told the daily.
The Anti-Secession Law clearly stipulates the conditions for unifying the motherland in a non-peaceful way. But the situation is more acute, he said, adding that China faced greater geopolitical risks.
The tasks of national defence and military construction in the new era, especially preparations for military struggles, have become more critical and urgent, so there are these calls to establish and improve the countrys wartime legal system, Xie said.
The most urgent need for wartime legislation at present is to adapt to the needs of hi-tech warfare, and further strengthen the mobilisation of reserve forces, requisitioning of strategic resources and integration of military and civilian development.
China has in recent years accelerated lawmaking related to the military, including amending both the Military Service Law and National Defence Law to enhance supervision along the borders.
Last month, Chinese lawmakers approved a resolution that gives the military the power to change how it applies the Criminal Procedure Law during wartime, the Post quoted an NPC saying that the decision was made to safeguard military missions and improve (the PLAs) ability to win in combat.
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