The controversial cross-strait service trade agreement was sent to the Legislative Yuan’s plenary session yesterday without a single minute of deliberation in a joint committee review meeting that was marred by physical and verbal confrontations among pan-blue and pan-green camp lawmakers as both sides accused each other of lacking “democratic maturity.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers had occupied the meeting room’s podium since noon yesterday and prevented Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) from presiding over the meeting, which was called off after three hours without actually commencing.
“Chang had no choice but to announce the conclusion of the meeting and send the pact to the plenary, as the legislative committee had failed to screen the agreement within the required time of three months,” KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) told a press conference after the meeting.
As the screening of the pact would be deemed complete after one day, the scheduled three-day review will not be held tomorrow and on Thursday, Lin said.
Lawmakers from both sides spent the time allotted to the meeting chanting slogans and taking verbal jabs at each other.
DPP lawmakers, led by Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉), and Chang briefly got into a physical confrontation.
Chang was reluctant to make the decision to send the pact to the plenary session because the DPP had been blocking the proceeding, but the decision was legal, Lin said, adding that Chang was tackled to the ground by DPP lawmakers when he was trying to convene the meeting.
The DPP refused to acknowledge the legality of the KMT’s unilateral decision, as Chang did not make his announcement on the podium and no one heard what he said, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said at a separate news conference.
In response to the KMT’s violation of a previously reached inter-party consensus that the deal must be reviewed clause-by-clause in the Legislative Yuan, DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said the DPP caucus would boycott the plenary session today, adding that the DPP would not rule out other measures to “paralyze” the legislature.
Even if the agreement is successfully sent to the plenary session for its second reading, the opposition lawmakers have the right to review it line-by-line as per previous consensus, Chen said.
Yesterday marked the third day that the joint committee review made no progress following a two-day review session convened by Chen Chi-mai last week.
The KMT caucus, which said the DPP’s boycott yesterday was “unacceptable,” disrupted the meeting last week.
Because the DPP did not recognize the legality of yesterday’s meeting, Chen said he would try to convene another review meeting next week.
The KMT’s reasoning for sending the pact to the plenary was incorrect, Chen said, as current regulations only stipulated that executive orders that fail to complete a committee review within three months of the plenary session be assigned to the committee.
“The agreement is not an executive order,” Chen said.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) issued press releases condemning the KMT’s handling of the meeting, with Su saying that the party would not accept the KMT’s breach of consensus.
Tsai said the KMT has put the nation’s democratic system in jeopardy and called on Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest