Taiwan’s legislature passes changes seen as favouring China

28 May 2024, 12:34

Supporters of the ruling and opposition parties demonstrate at the legislative chamber building in Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan Politics. Picture: PA

Thousands of people gathered outside the legislature to protest against the changes.

Taiwan’s opposition-controlled legislature has passed changes that are seen as favouring China and diminishing the power of the island’s president.

The changes introduced by the opposition Nationalist Party and its allies give the body greater power to control budgets, including defence spending that the party has blocked in what many see as a concession to China.

The Nationalists officially back unification with China, from which Taiwan separated during a civil war in 1949.

They took control of the legislature with a single-seat majority after elections in January, while the presidency went to Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favours Taiwan’s de facto independence from China.

Supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party gather in Taipei
Supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party gather in Taipei (Chiang Ying-ying/AP)

Thousands of people gathered outside the legislature to protest against the changes.

The legislative chamber was covered with banners promoting both sides in the dispute, while arguments on the floor broke into shouting and pushing matches.

DPP legislators accused deputies from the KMT and the minority Taiwan People’s Party of undermining Taiwan’s democracy by expanding the legislature’s oversight of the executive branch.

China sends planes and ships near Taiwan on a daily basis in a campaign aimed at wearing down Taiwanese opposition to unification and at deteriorating its defences, which are strongly backed by the US, despite a lack of formal diplomatic ties.

By Press Association

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