Taiwan legislators engage in water fight during hearing

Taiwan legislators engage in water fight during hearing

TAIPEI - Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chen Chi-mai splashed water on Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Chang Ching-chung while the latter was defending himself over the controversial Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement during the Internal Administration Committee meeting yesterday.

On March 17, Chang announced that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement had passed the deliberation stage and was sent to the Yuan Sitting. Chang's controversial move sparked heated debate and led to the student-led occupation of the Legislative Yuan's Assembly Hall.

Yesterday was the first time KMT lawmakers attended legislative committee meetings following the occupation of the Assembly Hall on March 18. Chang, who doubles as one of the conveners of the Internal Administration Committee, convened the meeting yesterday morning.

During the meeting DPP lawmakers took turns criticising Chang over his sending of the pact to the Yuan Sitting after a less than 30-second announcement and demanded Chang quit as convener and apologise to the public.

Chang defended himself, saying that when Chen convened a committee meeting to deliberate the Mass Gathering and Demonstration Act, Chen passed the amendment after only 20 seconds and called a recess.

Following Chang's remark, Chen stood up from his seat, took a glass of water, walked to Chang and threw the water on him. Chang raised his glass of water in an apparent attempt to fight back but eventually put it down again.

Chen told local press later that while he knows it was impolite behaviour, he felt he had to "wake Chang up" by splashing him.

Chang also responded to the incident, saying that although he was angry at Chen, he has been watching Chen grow up over the past years and sees Chen as his little brother, so he would not argue with Chen.

The Administration Committee meeting was scheduled to deliberate the Urban Renewal Act amendment. However, instead of reviewing the amendment, the DPP lawmakers spent hours attacking Chang and demanding his apology.

Chang is Willing to Apologize

Chang told reporters that he is willing to apologise to the public for causing "political" and "social" unrest, noting that he did abide by the Legislative Yuan's regulated procedures to handle the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement.

When asked by reporters if Chang would go into the Assembly Hall and face the student activists, Chang said he would if people allowed him to, noting that he is worried he would cause unnecessary disputes if he goes into the Assembly Hall recklessly.

Chang further noted that he has never heard of student activists demanding him to apologise over the "30-second announcement," noting that he would consider the students' proposal if they ask him to apologise.


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