Protesters Occupy Parliament of Taiwan

For better updates and analysis of related events, visit the Far-Eastern Sweet Potato by J. Michael Cole.

Hundreds of protesting students and activists stormed into the chamber of the Legislative Yuan 立法院 late night of 18 March 2014 in protest of a legislative move that concluded the review of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement 海峽兩岸服務貿易協議 by a MP of the governing KMT party. The MP, Chang Ching-chung 張慶忠, was physically blocked from the podium by opposition MPs and had to announce the opening of the review session of the trade agreement using a wireless microphone. He then proceeded to announce that due to the fact that the three-month period allotted for the review has expired, the trade agreement is considered to be have been reviewed by the committee, and will now head out of the joint committee for general debate.

The trade agreement lifts the majority of restrictions between Taiwan and China’s service industry and allows for investment from corporations fitting certain criteria. Police force has surrounded the Legislative Yuan and tried multiple times to evict the protesters. So far none of the attempts were successful. A police officer was injured and sent to the hospital. Protesters are demanding President Ma Ying-jeou 馬英九 to publicly apologize, the Premier Jiang Yi-huah  江宜樺 to resign, and Speaker of the Legislature Wang Jin-pyng 王金平 to remove the police force. The government has not responded to any of the demands and released statements calling for restraint.

For more information regarding the protesters and their demands, read about it on this Facebook event. For more information regarding the trade agreement, read more about it on this Government of Taiwan website.

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