Lawmakers in Taiwan got into a fist fight and threw pig guts at each other Friday over a soon-to-be enacted policy that would allow imports of U.S. pork and beef.

Premier Su Tseng-chang was due to give a regularly scheduled policy report to lawmakers on Friday morning about the pork policy when opposition party lawmakers from the Nationalist party, also known as the KMT, blocked his attempt to speak by dumping bags of pig organs.

Legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) attempted to stop them, resulting in chaos and an exchange of punches, with a DPP lawmaker wrestling a KMT lawmaker to the floor in the scuffle. 

President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration lifted a longstanding ban on imports of U.S. pork and beef in August, in a move seen as one of the first steps toward possibly negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with the U.S.

The ban is due to be lifted in January.

That decision has been met with fierce opposition, both from the KMT and individual citizens.

The new policy allows imports of pork with acceptable residues of ractopamine, a drug that some farmers add to animal feed to promote the growth of lean meat.

On Sunday, thousands of people marched in Taipei to protest the imports.

U.S. pork would account for a small percentage of the island’s consumption, but the Nationalist party has seized on the issue in an effort to mobilize support following successive failures at the polls.

“When you were in the opposition, you were against U.S. pork; now that you’re in power, you’ve become a supporter of U.S. pork,” said KMT legislator Lin Wei-chou, who led the group of lawmakers protesting the policy on Friday.

They wore black T-shirts that read “oppose ractopamine-pork.”

DPP lawmakers called for peace.

“You have blocked Premier Su from reposting to the parliament for 12 times,” said Hsu Sheng-chieh, a DPP legislative member. “Please return to reason.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Super Tuesday: 6 things to know ahead of the big day in the US

Practically speaking, the race for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States has been little more than a show until now. None of the early voting states offered much in the way of delegates for the candidates (barely…

How long can Singapore walk the tightrope between the US and China?

On the anniversary of diplomatic ties, a new generation of politicians are looking to navigate challenges including the escalating US-China rivalry There are also questions over the changing bilateral power dynamic amid China’s rise, and the impact of ongoing disputes…

Asteroid Bennu is covered in ‘carbon-bearing, organic material’ consistent with ingredients for LIFE, says NASA

According to Amy Simon, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, “carbon-bearing, organic material” is littered across Bennu’s surface. These signs indicate that organic material itself is likely to be found when the asteroid samples are returned to Earth for analysis. …

Brazil sees signs coronavirus outbreak slowing: Live updates

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur. Here are the latest updates: Australian airline Qantas says it had a loss of 1.96 billion Australian dollars ($1.4 billion) in the…