The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday backed away from its plan to call an extra legislative session next month to push through the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement, meaning that the review process for the deal is not to begin until March next year.
“As there are still another three public hearings, we have decided during cross-party negotiations that no extra session to discuss the agreement will be called during the recess,” KMT legislative caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) said.
A total of 16 public hearings were scheduled to be held by the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee from Sept. 30. The three remaining sessions are set for Jan. 2, Jan. 13 and March 10.
Caucus whips from all parties reached the decision not to hold an extra legislative session at a meeting chaired by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucuses had vowed to boycott a screening of the cross-strait service trade agreement “at all costs,” should the KMT caucus initiate an extra session to ratify the agreement during the recess .
Lawmakers decided to extend the current session, which comes to an end on Dec. 31, to Jan. 14 to complete a review of amendments to the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法).
The amendments were pushed to the forefront in this legislature session due to revelations of illegal wiretapping practices in the cases related to allegations that the legislative speaker and DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) exerted undue influence on the judicial system.
The cases also prompted some legislators to propose an amendment to the Organic Act of Courts (法院組織法) to abolish the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division over the controversial measures used by Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to investigate the alleged improper lobbying.
However, lawmakers decided yesterday to delay in the session a review of this amendment, according to TSU legislative caucus whip Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信).
PACIFIC OCEAN: Defense experts have warned that the ‘Shandong,’ China’s second largest aircraft carrier, poses a serious threat to eastern Taiwan’s defenses The drills conducted by the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific last week were more aimed at showcasing China’s military capabilities to the US rather than toward Taiwan, a Taiwanese defense expert said yesterday. Lin Yin-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the drills which involved dozens of warplanes sought to test China’s anti-access and area denial capabilities should the US and its allies attempt to interfere in a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the latest Chinese drills coincided with a joint maritime exercise conducted by the US, South Korea
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
CHANGES: While NCCU opened the nation’s first co-ed dorm in Mucha, a recent survey showed that Taiwanese are in favor of abolishing gender segregation at high schools National Chengchi University (NCCU) has opened a co-ed dormitory, a first in Taiwan among state-funded Taiwan universities. The 22 duplexes are at the renovated “Huanan New Village,” in Taipei City’s Mucha (木柵) area, near the NCCU campus, a school official said yesterday. Twenty-two out of 37 group applications were selected in a lottery draw to select who would be chosen to live in the units, which can either be shared by up to eight students if the unit has four bedrooms, or up to 10 students if it is a five-bedroom unit, officials said. Completed in 1964 for campus staff housing,