• Sat
  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 4:49pm
NewsChina
TAIWAN

Students vow to continue Taiwan parliament protest after deadline to meet demands ignored

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 March, 2014, 3:29pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 2:51am

Taiwanese students occupying the Legislative Yuan called on people across the island to join their protest after the ruling party failed to meet their deadline to drop a free-trade pact with the mainland.

The students urged people to gather at the legislature today and tomorrow and besiege local Kuomintang offices to support their movement against the cross-strait services trade agreement. They vowed to carry their campaign against the KMT through local elections later this year, if President Ma Ying-jeou does not withdraw the pact.

Watch: Protesters occupying Taiwan's parliament issue ultimatum

"There will be no turning back," said Lin Fei-fan, one of the leaders of the Black Island Nation Youth Front, which is co-ordinating the effort.

About 200 students seized the parliamentary chamber on Tuesday, and more than 2,000 have surrounded the building in solidarity. The students were also for a time joined by some 30,000 backers of the Democratic Progressive Party, causing some to worry that their movement risked being co-opted by the island's main opposition party.

The students gave Ma and legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng an ultimatum on Thursday to agree to their demands by noon today day or face an escalation of the protest.

The students issued their call-to-arms after Ma failed to withdraw the trade pact. Ma, who has described the protest as a "forcible and violent way" to petition parliament, also did not respond to their request for a face-to-face meeting.

Lin said the students were deeply disappointed by Ma's failure to respond to their demands. Ma should listen to the public and remove the pact from the legislative process, he said.

"His insistence on pushing through his will and his ignorance of the public's demands has led to the loss of his right to act as president," Lin said.

The protesters, as well as the DPP and civil action groups, say the pact would lead to fewer jobs. They also say that closer ties with Beijing could put the island's democracy at risk.

They want the deal to be removed from a scheduled review by the legislature and a bill passed aimed at supervising all agreements reached between Beijing and Taipei.

No other deals with the mainland should be passed until the new law is in place. They said the Kuomintang had endangered the democratic process by going back on their initial agreement to submit the deal to an itemised review in the legislature.

The DPP mobilised additional demonstrators yesterday, but student leaders said they feared involvement of the opposition could change the nature of their protest.

"This is a protest staged by students, not by politicians, and we don't want others to confuse the purpose," one student said.

Many opposition party supporters wore shirts at the rally bearing the names of candidates contesting local government elections slated for later this year.

Ma asked to meet Wang in the morning to discuss the stand-off, but the speaker refused, saying it was the result of a conflict between the government and opposition parties.

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This article is now closed to comments

chris.wong.37604303
President Ma forced the students protesters out of the Administrative Building with water-jets and did not take the chance to expel those still in the congress. Obviously, there would be a getting chaotic confusion! Too weak! The opposition party definitely would stir up another pile of **** for him!
ngsw
An irony of democracy. Ma is a voted president with full mandate. The legislative members are also come from votings. Now the students try to run them down with force, and one of their slogans is “defense democracy”.
chris.wong.37604303
This kind of “defense democracy” turned it in ungovernable status that would damage the country image internationally and ruin the nation's economy.
chris.wong.37604303
The President Ma Ying-jeou makes me quite disappointed for his performance as being the highest command of the country. Before his president-ship, I did think he was a smart person who should be able to succeed in the role, but all alone his being the toppest person, he has appeared to be weak and beyond the ability as the president. It seems his wife is dominating his life as he was spotted by camera-man while in a presidents' conference that his wife was in black-face instructing him to place his legs and sit properly and he humbly complied with the instructions. As to the disorderly situation being in the parliament, it would be getting worse and worse as protesters are getting more and more ,since Ma's opposition party, like "Man Chun Dor" must take this opportunity to stir up the chaos in order to weaken Ma's power. At the very first moment, the students invaded the parliament with so violent manner, they should take actions to subdue them immediately, as such violent attempt already sufficed to turn out police to take due actions. Now the situation has deteriorated and become to another level that is hard to be solved, and it has made a shame to Taiwan as seen in the picture that those furniture were placed at a mess in the respectful congress being occupied by the youngsters and the government is still at a loss facing the incident!
msd
President Ma and the KMT bring this problem upon themselves. On one hand they are being thuggish and manipulative in their politics, and on the other hand simply inept in their inability to communicate what the trade pact is, why it is needed, and most importantly what the trade-offs are. There are always trade-offs. These sort of things need to be spelled out, over and over, until the people understand and buy into it. People also have the right to vote on it. Just wait: the same sort of arrogance and incompetence will lead to problems with the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project. In both cases, there will be winner and losers. Therefore, the government needs to explain who will those people be, and how their situation can be helped. That's what real leadership and economic development planning does in a democracy.
ngsw
who is ruling Taiwan, Ma or the students?
yijainren0316@yeah.net
Compared with the restive, insolent and ignorant students and legislators in Taiwan, I began to appreciate the plastic stamps of the NPC members in China.
ejmciii
You probably are not one who likes to think for himself and needs to have princelings tell you how to live your life. So it goes. There is plenty of room in China for more people who want to be ordered around to make sure princelings send their kids to oxford and Harvard and have nice black audis.
toxxygen
A little unrest makes you uncomfortable? Then you don't deserve free speech or right to assembly or right to vote. I mean, we are not even talking about armed insurrection here. Here are some students sitting in and around the Yuan and you would rather not have a voice in your legislative process. Really?
lamlm38
Now, Taiwan is a place with a relatively well educated, civilized and classy population.. if these folks can handle 'democracy' well how does a sane person expect PRC adopt the same?
the PRC still has 600 plus millions of peasants.. surely i dont want see them running the country.. last time the peasant government ran the PRC we all know how it turned out!!!

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