A senior Chinese political adviser has proposed creating a law that could punish anyone for violating their responsibility to promote reunification. The proposal came during Beijing’s annual parliamentary sessions as tensions in the Taiwan Strait remained elevated and amid speculation that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could embolden Beijing to attack Taiwan. Zhang Lianqi, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, said that while the existing Anti-Secession Law played an important role in both curbing attempts at Taiwan independence and promoting the peaceful reunification of the motherland, a new law was needed. “Facing greater risks and challenges, conditions are becoming ripe to promote the reunification of the motherland by legal means, whether in a peaceful way or not,” Zhang told China’s government-backed Global Times newspaper ahead of the submission of the proposal. The Anti-Secession Law was passed in 2005 and provides a legal framework for Beijing’s policy on Taiwan, which stipulates Beijing could take the island back by force if necessary. Zhang was quoted in the report as saying that in the current situation, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities were colluding with the US to incite confrontation and seek independence, so Beijing must use law-based means to promote reunification. “Therefore, it is urgent, necessary and legitimate to formulate a law on the reunification of the motherland,” Zhang said. China lawmakers have West’s decline on their minds at ‘two sessions’ The Anti-Secession Law focused on fighting “Taiwan independence”, while the proposed reunification law would promote reunification, Zhang said, noting that Chinese citizens should be obliged to promote national unity. The law should clearly define legal responsibilities when obligations towards national reunification were violated, he said. The call to create such a law has been discussed by mainland scholars for years, but so far there is no sign that formulating a reunification law is on Beijing’s official agenda. Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said in late February that the Anti-Secession Law had played, and “will continue” to play, a unique and important role, including to deter Taiwan secessionist forces and advance the reunification process. Mainland observers said Beijing’s strategy and policy towards Taiwan had continuity and the formulation of a reunification law should not be done in haste. “I think the peaceful development of cross-strait relations does need more legal guarantees. But what law to enact, the content of the relevant law, and the timing of its formulation are still under study, and it will not be launched in a hurry. There will definitely be a process,” said Liu Guoshen, a professor at Xiamen University’s Taiwan Research Institute. During the “two sessions” annual parliamentary meetings, Beijing’s reaction to parallels drawn between Ukraine and Taiwan has gained much attention. Some Taiwan specialists have said the mainland has its own pace in dealing with the Taiwan issue, and it will not easily be affected by the Ukraine crisis. Self-reliance underscored as China’s top economic priority amid turbulent times On Saturday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to advance peaceful growth in relations with Taiwan and “reunification” , and said his government firmly opposed any separatist activities or foreign interference. Foreign Minister Wang Yi has warned that moves by Taiwan independence forces will ultimately ruin Taiwan’s future. He said any encouragement by the US towards independence would push Taiwan into a dangerous situation and also bring “unbearable consequences” for the US. Liu said Beijing’s major policy approach on the Taiwan issue would not easily be affected by external factors. “There is a strong continuity in the major policies and principles of our work on Taiwan, and we have our own pace and strategic arrangements for handling the Taiwan issue,” he said.