Student leaders still piling on Chang Ching-chung
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-02 03:29 PM
KMT lawmaker Chang Ching-chung is still taking flak from leaders of the protest at the Legislative Yuan two weeks after his ill-considered attempt March 17 to push the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement (CSSTA) out of committee and on to the full legislative body. Chang’s action was the trigger that touched off the student demonstration, and even after offering to apologize for his misstep he was still being verbally roughed up by the young leaders of the Sunflower Movement.

During a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee Monday Chang was doused with water by DPP lawmaker Chen Chi-mai as he tried to defend his actions last month. Chang was roundly chastised for his now-famous ‘30-second’ announcement by DPP members who demanded he step down as a committee co-convener and apologize to the public.

Chang sought to defend himself by comparing his action to that of the DPP’s Chen Chi-mai, who convened a committee meeting to discuss the Mass Gathering and Demonstration Act but declared the amendment passed after only 20 seconds and called for a recess. Chen reacted to Chang’s explanation by flinging a glass of water on the KMT lawmaker.

Chang later told reporters he is willing to apologize to the public for causing “political” and “social” unrest, noting that he did abide by established procedures in declaring the release of CSSTA from committee.

Asked by reporters if he would enter the Assembly Hall to face the student activists, Chang said he would if allowed to, adding that he worried he would cause unnecessary conflicts by appearing at the hall.

Chang noted that he has not heard student activists demanding him to apologize over his “30-second” gaffe, adding that he would consider the students' proposal if they did ask him to apologize.

Wednesday morning the Internal Affairs Committee prepared to take up the review of CSSTA again, and both legislators and the protesters were ready for action. At 9am student leader Lin Fei-fan began chanting, "Chang Ching-chung is not qualified” alternating with complaints like, "We can’t sleep, and it’s your fault."

Lin pointed out that Lin’s 30-second declaration was the immediate cause of the March 30 demonstration that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters to Ketagalan Boulevard. He said handing the agreement back to Chang after that was a joke of the worst kind, saying Chang would only try to cut his 30-second time down to “20 seconds, or even 10.” Then it was back to, "Chang Ching-chung is not qualified."

Lin added that he was on the scene at 9:00 after going to bed at 5am, segueing into more rounds of, "We can’t sleep, and it’s your fault."

On Wednesday morning Chang tried unsuccessfully to convene the Internal Affairs Committee, emerging from inside the Legislative Yuan at 11:00 to face the media. He told reporters he felt like a kid who was being scolded for a misdeed and said he just wanted to atone for his mistake and get on with the review of CSSTA.

As he talked, student leader Chen Wei-ting walked onto the scene with a petition that he demanded that Chang sign. Chang turned away, however, not wishing to get into another conflict with the students.

Chang told reporters that he is good friends with everyone in the Legislative Yuan and felt no need for anyone to accompany him into the committee. He added that he had exchanged greetings with General Convener Ker Chien-ming, Liu Chien-kuo and other DPP lawmakers while inside the building.

Chang also complained that he is not getting much sleep these days with the phone ringing constantly with people calling to complain, sometimes very rudely. He added that he believes Taiwan is a very rational and peaceful society and said he has not asked for police protection.

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