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Misinterpretation of U.S. Rep. Smith’s comments clarified

Reporter TVBS News Staff
Release time:2024/05/22 11:11
Last update time:2024/05/22 11:11
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Misinterpretation of U.S. Rep. Smith’s comments clarified (TVBS News) Misinterpretation of U.S. Rep. Smith’s comments clarified
Misinterpretation of U.S. Rep. Smith's comments clarified (TVBS News)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — U.S. Rep. Chris Smith on Tuesday (May 21) congratulated Taiwan's President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) on his inauguration and shared his views on the ongoing discussions in the Legislative Yuan regarding a bill on parliamentary powers. Smith emphasized the importance of mutual respect, peaceful dialogue, and constitutional governance among all political parties to resolve differences.

Smith pointed out that one of President Lai's primary challenges might stem from the opposition within his own Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to the bill aimed at strengthening parliamentary oversight. This opposition is notably from the party's hardliners in the Legislative Yuan.

 

Legislative Controversies

The proposed amendments to the parliamentary powers bill by the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) have sparked controversy. The DPP has criticized these amendments as an attempt to expand parliamentary powers in a way that violates procedural justice. KMT legislator Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) highlighted on Facebook that Smith specifically pointed out the DPP legislators' obstruction to parliamentary reform.

However, Vincent Chao (趙怡翔), a DPP Taipei City Councilor and former head of the political division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, argued that Smith's comments were based on incomplete information. Chao mentioned that his friends in Washington said Smith's office regretted the misinterpretation of their statement. The statement was primarily intended to congratulate President Lai on his inauguration and was not meant to take sides in political disputes. They hope for open and substantive dialogue among all parties.
 

The Taiwanese Association of America (全美台灣同鄉會) expressed regret in a press release that Smith's congratulatory message was used by the KMT as a tool in domestic political strife. The association warned that if the bills pushed by the KMT and TPP pass, it could lead to a constitutional crisis and a severe power imbalance, undermining the executive and judicial branches.

The association called on the KMT and TPP to heed the voice of the people, avoid using their majority to violate democratic procedures, and not destroy Taiwan's hard-won democratic achievements. This appeal underscores the deep divisions and the high stakes involved in the legislative process, highlighting the need for dialogue to safeguard Taiwan's democratic institutions.

Taiwan Affairs

#Taiwan politics# Chris Smith# Lai Ching-te# Legislative Yuan# DPP Taiwan# KMT Taiwan# parliamentary powers# Taiwanese Association of America# Taiwan constitutional crisis# Taiwan parliamentary reform controversy
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