Law expected to define acts by Taiwan that would constitute independence Top mainland lawmakers yesterday approved draft anti-secession legislation they say would help curb separatist moves by Taiwan's pro-independence forces. The motion to send the controversial legislation for passage at the full session of the National People's Congress in March was made during the second day of closed-door meetings by the NPC's Standing Committee in Beijing, Xinhua reported. Beijing has not revealed details of the draft legislation, which is expected to define the actions constituting a formal declaration of independence by Taipei and the measures Beijing can use to stop such an action. Xinhua said NPC chairman Wu Bangguo attended the vetting session. It said the committee made the decision unanimously and lawmakers believed the legislation was 'extremely necessary' and 'very timely' given the recent threats to cross-strait peace and stability posed by the activities of the Taiwanese 'separatists'. 'Standing committee members believe the anti-secession law will mobilise Taiwan compatriots to be together with the common effort of all Chinese people in the great undertaking of promoting peaceful reunification,' the Xinhua report said. The Beijing-backed Ta Kung Pao reported yesterday the central authorities were extremely sensitive about the review process and did not want officials or scholars to make any controversial remarks on the issue. Overseas reports have said the law would contain a clause that explicitly says the island was a part of China and that all Chinese people, including Taiwanese residents, had the responsibility to protect and safeguard the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The legislation will also be relatively short, at just 10 pages. After attending yesterday's session, an NPC Standing Committee representative from Hong Kong, Tsang Hin-chi, said he believed the mainland must use force to prevent the island from becoming an independent nation. 'I believe if there is a formal declaration of independence by Taiwan, the Chinese government must adopt non-peaceful means to stop the secession,' Mr Tsang said. Zhang Tongxin , director of Remin University's Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Research Centre, said yesterday that once the legislation was passed, countries would become very careful in their relations with Taiwan's pro-independence leaders. Professor Zhang believed that Tokyo would not have issued a tourist visa for former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui to visit Japan, as it did on Tuesday, if the anti-secession law had already been in effect. Meanwhile, Xinhua said in a separate report the State Defence Education office recently issued a notice that departments strengthen their education of the principles of protecting national security and unification.