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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
Taiwanese MPs hold a food fight
Already known for their heated debates, and even the odd fist fight, Taiwan's legislators now seem to have resorted to another form of insult - hurling food at each other.

One minute they were sitting in a conference hall having lunch, engaged in a strongly worded discussion about international arms sales.

The next minute it was the lunch that was doing the talking, as the island's lawmakers hurled rice, meat, vegetables and even hard-boiled eggs across the room.

According to the Associated Press news agency, a local TV crew caught the incident on camera, but said it was difficult to tell who had started the food fight.

Opposition member Chu Fong-chi was filmed shouting at ruling party delegates, and then ducking to avoid something being thrown in her direction.

She quickly responded, picking up a cardboard lunch box and throwing it at another legislator, Chen Chong-yi.

Mr Chen gave as good as he got, leaving Ms Chu with what appeared to be food stains on the back of her blouse.

"My whole body smells like a lunch box!" she is said to have yelled.

The ministerial food fight was all over in minutes, with the only evidence being a few pieces of egg and fistfuls of rice in various corners of the otherwise austere conference hall.

Taiwan has a history of rowdy behaviour in parliament, and a number of fights broke out there in the late 80s and early 90s.

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