Chinese foreign minister: "Taiwan will not be allowed to secede"

China's foreign minister said Tuesday that it was secessionists in Taiwan who are jeopardizing peace in the region, not Beijing, defying international criticism of China's new law authorizing an attack on Taiwan.

The United States has criticized the legislation, passed Monday by China's parliament, but during his visit to Bosnia on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, said that 160 countries accept that "there is only one China in this world and Taiwan is part of it."

However, there are still groups in Taiwan which oppose this principle and promote "activities toward Taiwan's independence ... which represents a direct and great danger for the stability and peace of not only China but the entire region," Li said.

The two sides split in 1949, but Beijing claims the island as its own territory.

The new legislation is a "anti-separatist law," and shows that China is truly determined to unify the country, Li said.

"We will not allow anybody to secede from China in any way," he said.

China's foreign minister is visiting Bosnia as part of a European tour. The two countries established diplomatic relations 10 years ago, after Bosnia's 1992-95 war ended.

Li met with Bosnia's foreign minister, Mladen Ivanic. The two concluded that the good political relations should be followed by better economic ties.

Associated Press

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