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Protestors invade Taiwan Cabinet offices

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Hundreds of protesters opposed to a far-reaching trade pact with China invaded Taiwan's Cabinet offices Sunday, marking a sharp escalation in a student-led movement against the island's rapidly developing ties with the communist mainland.

An Associated Press photographer outside the offices estimated the crowd at about 800. Taiwanese television stations showed scenes of protesters pushing and shoving with police in the area.

Sunday's Cabinet action came five days after mainly student protesters occupied the nearby legislature after a ruling party lawmaker reneged on a promise to submit the pact to detailed legislative review.

Signed in June by representatives from Taipei and Beijing, the pact is still awaiting ratification by Taiwan's legislature. It would open dozens of service sector industries in each side's territory to companies from the other.

Since the protests began, they have attracted tens of thousands of supporters to the area around the legislature, in the sternest test so far for President Ma Ying-jeou's six-year effort to bring Taiwan's economy ever closer to China's.

Earlier Sunday, Ma said that going back on the pact would undermine Taiwan's economy and damage its international credibility.

Student leaders rejected Ma's contentions, insisting that tying Taiwan too close to China would harm Taiwan's hard-won democratic freedoms and pave the way for China's eventual takeover of the island. That has been the central goal of Beijing's Taiwan policy since the two sides split amid civil war in 1949.

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Paul Castle March 23 2014 at 11:55 AM

Better listen to the students.

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hey March 23 2014 at 1:51 PM

don't know much about Taiwan but I don't blame the for being leery of china and hope the government listens to the people unlike this country where politicans just run over us and could not care less what the people want

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donrahilly March 24 2014 at 5:59 AM

China wants Taiwan so bad they could spit. (old saying). I can remember them shelling old Formosa
(Taiwan) back in the 50's. I think China is being very ridiculous. They may think the island is strategic but with all the changes in technology that's not true. If an enemy occupied the island it would take China about 10 minutes to eliminate it . Better to leave Taiwan alone and be friendly.

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JEFFERSODA March 23 2014 at 1:36 PM

Taiwan's goverment wouldn't be doing this if they had a strong ally here in the USA. But they don't.
JFK pledged to defend Taiwan, Quemoy, Matsu and the Pescadores in the event of an attack.
JFK was killed before he could accomplish anything RIP, John.

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1 reply
Paul JEFFERSODA March 23 2014 at 4:13 PM

Who would trust or believe us after Benghazi Gate. BUT WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE NOW, and she wants to be our first female President. The Brits had Margaret Thatcher, Israel Golda Meir, India Indira Gandhi and now Germany Angela Merkel, and us all we can come up is an always lying Hillary

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Jimmy March 23 2014 at 12:33 PM

For those of you didn't understand the politics and economic outlook of Taiwan, just imagine the wages have been stagnant for last 20 years with average salary of 20K NTD/month ($600/month) for college graduates. Job outlooks are horrible with no real economic solution for its citizens, the students are frustrated with government who sign more treaty that directly affect the economic future of the Taiwan. Talents are fleeing the country in droves where a dish washer in the USA and butcher of Australia makes more than many Engineers in Taiwan and doctors are being paid for $14/patient (so you can imagine the pay of the nurses and other healthcare workers due to government run program that depress wages of the workers). No wonder massive occupation of government building is being done by these students who demanded brighter future while Ma Ying Jeou signed the treaty that will affect the economic futures for Taiwanese labor force with one of the largest trading partner/competitor.

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Pllc15 March 23 2014 at 12:31 PM

35 years ago on a business trip, the young generation I met then looked forward to bringing Taiwan closer to Mainland China if not become part of it. Fast forward today, that generation like Ma are now the leaders of Taiwan carrying out that dream they had while their children and grandchildren are opposing it.

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$300,000 in 2006 March 23 2014 at 2:32 PM

I smell Crimea.

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jwyola March 23 2014 at 12:06 PM

President Ma Ying-jeou seems to be the mouse yearning for the cheese laying in that funny looking device.

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gerald01612 March 23 2014 at 12:04 PM

The students are way more astute than the rest. The only one wiser but unfortunately very devious is Ma, his agenda is to dump democracy, ties with the west, and take away freedom from his own people. All around, he is a really good guy. Just happens to be a sleaze bag.

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2 replies
hccbillandpat gerald01612 March 23 2014 at 12:45 PM

Are you sure his name isn't Barrack Hussein Obama??? Sounds like the piece of garbage we have running (ruining) our country.

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1 reply
glennkg hccbillandpat March 23 2014 at 1:26 PM

People like you are the garbage. It's because of you that Democrats and Republicans can't cooperate in the middle ground for the good of the country.

Flag +4 rate up
eyo32 gerald01612 March 23 2014 at 2:33 PM

The same could be said about thr U.S.A. except the part about the astute students.Here,they are taught by socialist profesors who demonize their country.Also,obama is not a good guy.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ramonbatramon March 23 2014 at 11:55 AM

Ummm? Russia taken Crimea by force I e using the excuse of protecting citizens from the Ukraine government abuse. Also only Russia citizens voted. I do not blame Taiwan concerns! Power to the students!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
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