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Amid mass protests and violent confrontations in parliament, Taiwan’s opposition lawmakers on Tuesday approved a controversial reform package that analysts said would undermine the president’s powers – even as a majority of Taiwanese have little trust in the legislative branch, the Guardian reported.

Carried by the two main opposition parties, the nationalist, pro-China Kuomintang (KMT) and the center-left Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), the bill passed in a 58-45 vote. The parties together hold a majority in the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s parliament, which President Lai Ching-te’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost in the January elections.

The bill, at first glance a domestic issue, has attracted international attention because critics say it will diminish barriers against Chinese influence, Nikkei Asia wrote. Last week, Beijing, which considers Taiwan as a part of its territory, launched a series of military drills around the island following President Lai’s words on sovereignty at his inauguration.

The new measure allows parliamentarians to demand information from companies, citizens and the military. It also creates a crime of “contempt of parliament”, requiring the president to issue regular reports and answer questions in the legislature – a first in Taiwan, Reuters explained.

The opposition argued the move was needed to enforce “checks and balances.”

On Monday, ahead of the vote, more than 60 legal experts called on the KMT and TPP to review the bill and “seek the opinions of experts,” arguing that some parts were unconstitutional.

The DPP – which introduced similar legislation in 2016 but withdrew it amid a public outcry – accused the opposition parties of forcing through the current bill.

There were scenes of violent confrontations inside the legislature over the week, with projectiles thrown from both sides of the aisle. Two lawmakers were hospitalized.

Amid the chaos, one member seized the bill and tried to run away with it to prevent the reform from being passed, NDTV reported.

In the streets of Taipei, thousands of protesters chanted, “No dialogue, no democracy.”

Many of them were university and high school students. In January’s general election, most young voters chose the TPP, a newly emerged party. But they opposed the reform, in part due to the TPP and KMT’s rushed efforts to approve the bill, the Diplomat reported.

The protests over the reform bill are the largest Taiwan has seen since the 2014 Sunflower movement, where students and civil society opposed a trade agreement between the then-ruling KMT and China.

Lai expressed his support for the protesters. After Tuesday’s parliamentary vote, the president will likely face obstacles to creating security plans to counter Beijing’s annexation threats, the Guardian wrote.

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