BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- A general of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China said here on Monday that the Chinese military would by no means tolerate "Taiwan independence" or allow anyone to make Taiwan secede from China by any means.
"If such a thing (Taiwan's secession from China) happens, we will effectively perform our glorious mission of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with the will of the motherland and the wishes of the people," said General Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, at a panel discussion of lawmakers representing the Chinese military.
However, Guo added, "We will continue, along with the entire Chinese people, to show our utmost sincerity and make the greatest efforts to safeguard and promote the peaceful and stable development of cross-Straits relations, and strive for the prospects of peaceful reunification."
He urged all PLA soldiers and officers to further "heighten sense of responsibility and sense of urgency", and to make all-out efforts to "get well-prepared for military struggle".
Chinese lawmakers, or deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC), are here for their annual full session, which opened here in the Great Hall of the People on Monday morning.
Guo's call came on the heels of the latest "Taiwan independence" remarks of Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian, who said at a gathering in Taiwan on Sunday that he wanted "Taiwan independence" and a "new constitution".
Also on Monday, a Chinese mainland official lashed out at Chen's "deliberate provocation to the mainland".
"Chen was undisguisedly preaching secessionist ideas, another dangerous step towards 'Taiwan independence'," a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council said.
"He has replaced the 'four noes' pledge with a 'four wants' policy, which shows once again that Chen is a faithless politician," the official said.
As he took office in 2000, Chen pledged to adhere to the "four noes", namely no declaration of "Taiwan independence", no incorporation of the "two states" remarks into the "constitution", no change of the province's name and no referendum on "Taiwan independence".
Chen's attempt to seek "Taiwan independence" through constitutional reform posed a huge threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and to Asia and the Pacific, said the official, adding that Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, would firmly oppose such attempts.
He said the mainland would continue to endeavor to improve cross-Straits relations with the utmost sincerity and effort, be highly vigilant against any secessionist moves, and never allow secessionists to separate Taiwan from China in any name or form.