Taiwan DPP lawmakers occupy committee rooms in protest against China students

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers locked themselves up in two legislative committee rooms yesterday to prevent progress on allowing students from China to study in Taiwan.
A total of 26 DPP lawmakers occupied the meeting rooms of the Education Committee and the Internal Administration Committee shortly after noon. The former was scheduled to discuss government plans to allow students from China to study at Taiwanese universities, while the latter was scheduled to discuss the recognition of Chinese diplomas. The DPP opposes both measures because it fears they will lead to Chinese nationals taking away jobs from Taiwanese amid surging unemployment. Opposition politicians have also voiced fears that a lax policy will lead to spying by China, while Chinese could use fake diplomas to apply for places at local schools.
The DPP accused the ruling Kuomintang of wanting to approve the proposals without consulting the opposition or public opinion. During the morning, DPP lawmakers already held protest placards and tried to stop the meeting.
Education Minister Cheng Jei-cheng told lawmakers the policy of allowing Chinese students was set, but they would not exceed 2,000 during the first year.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said the DPP politicians were hampering the work of the Legislature and damaging its image, calling their action indefensible. Police tried but failed to open up the doors. The opposition lawmakers were reportedly well prepared for a long occupation, which they started after lunch while taking bottles of water inside.
The DPP gave up its occupation of the committee rooms after four hours, when the committee conveners declared yesterday's meetings closed, reports said.
Minister Cheng was also facing calls for his resignation from academics accusing him of going slow on educational reform. The professors, known as KMT supporters, said he had not made enough efforts.

Updated : 2021-04-10 19:54 GMT+08:00