TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A newspaper intern who received a scholarship from China mingled with lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan to throw water balloons at their ruling party colleagues, reports said Sunday.
Over the past few days, opposition Kuomintang legislators have launched running battles throwing eggs, flour and water at their Democratic Progressive Party colleagues during discussions of the budget for the government’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. Pictures of the incidents went around the world, reinforcing the Legislative Yuan’s rowdy image.
However, legislators noticed that a young man in a gray T-shirt who was not wearing any obvious identification and was not known to them also joined in the fray, throwing water balloons from the KMT side.
DPP lawmaker Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) revealed Sunday that the man was a Taiwanese student named Han (韓) who had entered the premises as an intern with the Chinese-language China Times media group and who had obtained a scholarship from the Chinese government
The media company acknowledged that it was one of its three interns at the scene who had become swept up by the mood and joined in the action. Afterward, Han had realized he had gone too far and apologized, the China Times said.
Cheng condemned the incident, also wondering about Han’s links to China. His scholarship served to promote “the great cause of the reunification of the motherland” and to “increase identification with the motherland,” the lawmaker said, adding that accepting One China was one of the preconditions for applying for the scholarship.
Even though Cheng said Han was not a Chinese spy, he added that in the light of the incident, the previous rumor that China might have 5,000 spies working inside Taiwan was not that farfetched.
Legislative Secretary-General Lin Chi-chia (林志嘉) said that in future, supervision of media interns might be toughened up to the same level as full-fledged reporters. Guards will also take a closer look at the ID documents of visitors to the premises, he concluded.