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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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thewebdoctorisin March 24 2014 at 5:55 AM

Sounds like your politicians are no different then ours, imagine that!

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nefsigh March 23 2014 at 4:26 PM

Go students. Keep up the effort to remain independent. I have worked in both countries and for the life of me, I cannot understand why the mainland cannot simply accept the reality that the majority of people in Taiwan do NOT want to lose their freedoms, democratic processes and their independence. Seems mainland should be content with a good relationship, instead of some odd need to dominate.

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zentalent March 23 2014 at 4:51 PM

in terms of "pacts," most vegetables you eat are grown in mexico meaning job loss in the usa.

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angelo March 23 2014 at 5:32 PM

This is weird. Here we have politicians wanting to get closer to China and young people wanting to stay away. Shouldn't the older generation be the ones who are the most suspicious about any thawing of relations with China? They, more than the younger people, remember the bad old days, right? What gives?

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Kevin Caldwell March 23 2014 at 5:34 PM

This has a familiar ring to it.

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Vimala Nowlis March 23 2014 at 5:41 PM

Why not? Students in cities rule!!! The Egyptian students rioted in Cairo and overthrew the elected government. The Ukrainin students rioted in Kiev and overthrew the elected government. Why shouldn't a few hundred Taiwanese students do the same and overthrow the elected government? Who cares about what the millions of majority think. It you don't have iphone and not a student in the capital city, forget it, no one cares about your vote or what you think.

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2 replies
HAT1701D Vimala Nowlis March 23 2014 at 7:21 PM

How's the Egypt thing going these days? Stable? 100% on the top peg? Nope. Ukraine? Not looking good caught between Russia and Europe and with an entirely unstable government there within their own borders. Having an iPhone without the ability to control what you have overthrown doesn't do a dang thing.

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WELCOME STEVE Vimala Nowlis March 23 2014 at 8:51 PM

Nice try, but the Egyptian and Ukarine and Taiwanese students have a point. Their own governments had declared war on their respective countries.

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Jim Tallman March 23 2014 at 6:29 PM

I really wonder, just how many older people remember the price paid by many for the freedom of Taiwan, Taiwanese aren't chinese, their country was over run by Chinese trying to leave main land Chine because of the communism take over in 1947, one should remember history and we should look at what is happening in our own country and our freedom that is slipping away from us, little by little, young people should be very concerned if they love their freedom, take time to look at the people you vote into office that hid their identity, why????????

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1 reply
Nancy Jim Tallman March 23 2014 at 9:15 PM

Our freedom is slipping away for a very big reason. We allow businesses to contribute to political campaigns. We allow huge campaign donations that the very wealthy can afford. They can make huge campaign donations which equates to buying parties and politicians. The 1% and Big Business have the money and so have bought our politicians and both parties. The common man is losing this country if we haven't already. Spread suspician about any politician who won't play by their rules. Bigotry and lies over the internet is all it takes. I am still getting lying spam emails from 2000. "THEY'RE ALIVE"

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Warrior March 24 2014 at 4:34 AM

In a democracy, people vote directly for each piece of legislation, with the majority votes or certain percentage winning. In a republic, trusted representatives are supposed to vote on behalf of their constituents that elected them...not coorporations, a handful of rich people, special interest groups, etc... running the government with back room deals using unlimited campaign funds to buy legisation in their favor. The United States is corrupted, and has not had a government that resembles either a democracy or a republic for quite some time. I am proud of these kids in Taiwan trying to save their country from communism. No doubt,mainland China has used its economic surpluses well by buying odd the necessary politicians to sway the votes in their direction. American students used to do such things back in the 60's...The expression they rallied under was "Power to the People!" I believe the "People" they were refering to are the ones mentioned in large bold script on our Constitution of the United States that proclaims "We the People"...and that's not coming from some Lsd tripping hippie. It's coming from a retired Marine grunt combat veteran and DAV. Save our country from our politicians, bureacrats aqnd all those who have corrupted them. Their decisions are so caught up in their twisted bureaucractic mentality, that they've been destroying this nation from the inside out for decades. Both parties are guilty. Don't reelect any incumbents; and, be wary of any one else you vote for taking their places. Who ever is elected, though, has one hell of a mess to fix because of teir predecessors...One hell of a mess! The damage may even be irrepairable.

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1 reply
gemvalue Warrior March 24 2014 at 5:53 AM

man you are in THE point. Who Is governing US is the Dumping minds of the LOBBYIST who paid for the vacations and give donations to elect the ones to favor them. NRA is clearly one of them.

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1 reply
gv101583 gemvalue March 24 2014 at 6:15 AM

...and virtually every labor union in the country too.

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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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Jay March 24 2014 at 3:03 AM

Good for those kids.......at least they are not selling out their country like the politicians are.

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