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Taiwan Urges China to Scrap Anti-Secession Law

Taiwan is urging China to scrap an anti-secession law now that relations between the mainland and self-ruled island have improved in the last year.

In a statement released Saturday, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council called on Beijing to abolish the law and dismantle missiles aimed at the island, in order to further promote cross-strait relations.

Relations between China and Taiwan have improved since the election last May of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou. Mr. Ma's Nationalist Party supports closer ties with Beijing.

China established the anti-secession law in 2005 while Taiwan was under the leadership of then-president Chen Shui-bian, who supported island's independence.

The anti-secession law allows China to use force against the island if it takes formal steps toward independence.

On Friday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Beijing is willing to discuss Taiwan's possible participation in international organizations.

China and Taiwan split after Mao Zedong's Communist army drove the Nationalist forces to Taiwan. Beijing claims sovereignty over the island and vows to be reunited with it, even if by force.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.