Taiwan’s parliament passes bill pushing pro-China changes | Politics News

Thousands protested outside the Taiwanese parliament after the adoption of reforms considered to reduce the powers of the president.

Taiwan’s opposition-controlled legislature has ignored large protests to press ahead with legislative changes seen as favorable to China.

The controversial bill, adopted on Tuesday, reduces the power of President William Lai Ching-te, who was sworn in last week, and the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party government.

The reforms, pushed by the opposition nationalist Kuomintang Party and junior partner Taiwan People’s Party, give lawmakers the power to require the president to make regular reports to parliament and answer lawmakers’ questions. It also criminalizes contempt of Parliament by government officials.

The bill also gives the legislature increased control over budgets, including defense spending. The legislature will also be able to ask the military, private companies or individuals to disclose information that parliamentarians consider relevant.

Nationalist opposition parties officially support reunification with China, from which Taiwan separated during a civil war in 1949.

They took control of the Legislative Council with a one-seat majority after elections in January, while the presidency went to Lai.

A supporter of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party holds a sunflower and a poster bearing the “Taiwante” slogan. I protect,” in front of the Legislative Building in Taipei, Taiwan, May 28, 2024 [Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo]

Garbage bags and kites

Thousands of people gathered outside the Legislative Council to protest the changes. The Legislative Council was decorated with banners promoting both sides of the conflict, while arguments on the floor turned into screaming and pushing matches.

DPP lawmakers accused lawmakers from the Kuomintang and the minority Taiwan People’s Party of undermining democracy in Taiwan by expanding the legislature’s oversight of the executive.

The DPP says the reforms were imposed without proper consultation and that their content is either ambiguous or exceeds authority.

Lawmakers from the ruling party threw garbage bags and kites at their opposition counterparts while voting on the bill.

“You can seize parliament, but you cannot seize public opinion,” Kiir Chien-ming, parliamentary leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, said in a speech to the council, adding that Beijing has influenced Taiwanese politics.

Opposition representatives, carrying sun-shaped balloons, chanted: “Let sunlight enter Parliament.”

China sends planes and ships near Taiwan on a daily basis campaign It aims to weaken Taiwanese opposition to unification and weaken its defenses, which the United States strongly supports, despite the lack of formal diplomatic relations.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on Tuesday that three Chinese warplanes and 11 navy and coast guard ships had been spotted in the past 24 hours, down from the 21 aircraft and 15 ships it announced on Monday.

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