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China's Parliament to Enact Anti-Secession Law That Taiwan Fears


China's parliament opens a new annual session on Saturday, prepared to enact an anti-secession law that rival Taiwan fears could lead to a military attack.

On the eve of the new session in Beijing, a parliament spokesman said the law is not meant to start hostilities with Taiwan.

He said it is aimed at promoting relations and peaceful reunification with the island. President Hu Jintao said China will never tolerate independence for democratic-ruled Taiwan.

Relations have been tense ever since Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, a one-time pro-independence activist, took office in 2000.

The spokesman for China's parliament also announced a sharp increase in the nation's military budget, but he stressed it does not set the stage for an attack on Taiwan.

The draft budget proposes military expenditures of about 30-billion dollars -- up almost 13 percent from last year. Independent analysts contend that China actually spends much more on its military.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuter.

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