When Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing stressed yesterday morning that the anti-secession law was meant to secure regional peace and security, many Taiwanese were not reassured. By the afternoon, thousands of protesters were on the streets of Taiwan denouncing the bill. '[The bill] will gain more understanding and support in the international community,' Mr Li said. The legislation is scheduled to be tabled in the national legislature tomorrow. Its details have not been released. Mr Li's remarks follow similar messages from Beijing officials in the past week. NPC spokesman Jiang Enzhu said last week the bill was not an act of mobilisation for war. President Hu Jintao then pledged that Beijing would do all it could to seek peaceful reunification with Taiwan. Those assurances failed to keep more than 15,000 Taiwanese protesters off the streets yesterday. Protesters in the southern city of Kaohsiung were organised by the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), and those in Taipei by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). 'Protect Taiwan, oppose annexation,' shouted the headband-wearing protesters as they waved flags and banners covered with written slogans condemning the mainland and calling for counteractions. Former president Lee Teng-hui, who took part in the Kaohsiung march, called the draft bill merely 'an excuse by China to swallow up Taiwan'. 'Taiwanese must stand up bravely to oppose China's enactment of the so-called anti-secession law,' he said. The TSU claimed it drew 50,000 protesters, but police said it was closer to 10,000. Another 5,000 people joined a DPP rally in Taipei to denounce the bill. Premier Frank Hsieh Chang-ting urged Beijing to drop the bill for the sake of cross-strait peace and regional stability. Chiu Tai-san, spokesman for the Mainland Affairs Council, said the law would spark a counter bill against the mainland.