News / Asia

Taiwan Parliament Occupiers Seeking Transparency In China Trade Deal

  • Students protesting against a China Taiwan trade pact rally in front of a wall of police outside of the occupied legislature, in Taipei, Taiwan, March 20, 2014.
  • Students protesting against a China Taiwan trade pact occupy the legislative floor, in Taipei, Taiwan, March 20, 2014.
  • Students protesting a China-Taiwan trade pact barricade themselves in legislature in Taipei, March 20, 2014. (Xiaobei Zhang/VOA)
  • Students protesting a China-Taiwan trade pact sleep inside the legislature in Taipei, March 20, 2014. (Xiaobei Zhang/VOA)
  • A student occupying the legislature in Taipei told VOA his mother is worried that he is in the building, March 20, 2014. (Xiaobei Zhang/VOA)
  • Students protesting against a China Taiwan trade pact occupy the legislative floor, in Taipei, Taiwan, March 20, 2014.
  • Student protesters against a China-Taiwan trade agreement barricade the entrance to the legislature in Taipei, March 19, 2014.
  • Hundreds of students protesting a China-Taiwan trade pact surround the legislature in Taipei, March 19, 2014.
  • Students and other protesters collide with police inside Taiwan's legislature in Taipei, March 18, 2014.
Taiwan Protesters Occupy Legislature
Ralph Jennings
x
​Protesters are occupying Taiwan’s parliament for a second full day to block passage of a deal that would liberalize the island’s service trade with China. The aggressive protest is less about the widely supported trade pact than anger over a perceived lack of transparency.
 
The several hundred students who broke into Taiwan’s parliament on Tuesday night and remain inside Thursday are demanding a harder look at a pact to liberalize the service trade between their island and economic giant China. The deal that would open 144 service categories to the other side’s investors enjoys broad support, but protesters want a detailed examination before it clears parliament.
 
Protester Iris Chang, a Taipei resident and part of the group that broke into parliament on Tuesday, said Taiwanese people need more information.
 
“The government can’t just approve without the people saying yes or letting us know what exactly the law or the content is about. This is kind of like cheating on the citizens,” said Chang.
 
Negotiators from Taiwan and longtime political rival China approved the services trade deal in June. Taiwanese companies covered by the pact can take a controlling stake in joint ventures and expand banking, healthcare and tourism businesses in China. The agreement would help Taiwan’s larger companies but may hurt smaller ones as competitors from China open shop. Island officials believe the pact ultimately will modernize the service sector and create jobs.
 
Taiwan’s China policymaking body said most local business people back the deal, and a private survey in July found 59 percent support among Taiwan’s public.
 
Parliament has handled the deal slowly despite pressure from leaders on both sides as the two main political parties fight over how to vote on it. President Ma Ying-jeou’s Nationalist Party, which has a legislative majority, wants a quick package vote this month or next. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party advocates a more time-consuming item-by-item review that could strike clauses that might hurt local industry.
 
Raymond Wu, managing director of e-telligence, a political risk consultancy in Taipei, said the dispute boils down to protecting local business.
 
“Whether the people of Taiwan are willing and ready to open up the market and become more integrated regionally, this is the fundamental issue at stake,” said Wu.
 
The opposition is generally cautious toward China. Beijing has considered self-ruled Taiwan part of its territory since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s and demands eventual reunification.
 
Protesters gathered on Tuesday night because they say the Nationalists went back on their word after agreeing to an item-by-item review. After a break-in that night, about 400 people occupied the legislative podium with plans to stay for a hearing Friday, unless police force them out.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Notme Mabimb from: Taiwan
March 23, 2014 4:32 PM
Plz help Taiwanese !
Taiwan horrible "Legislature Yuan" and "Executive Yuan"!
Live: http://www.ustream.tv/embed/17557850
Live: http://tv.udn.com/news/live.shtml
Live: http://tw.pikolive.com/jtv/vmoretv
Ten thousands no weapons people vs Riot police !
Taiwanese life of Asia in the world.
Thank u !

by: Dave Wu from: Taipei
March 21, 2014 7:28 AM
Passing a legislation as a package deal without itemized oversight is not a way of a true democracy. Especially trying to do that in 6 seconds.
In Response

by: Sun flower from: Usa
March 21, 2014 12:44 PM
Totally agree!!

by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
March 20, 2014 5:59 PM
They are fighting for democracy of Taiwan since they know the pact with Beijing is a trap to take rights and interests from them.

by: jack kazadi from: DRC
March 20, 2014 1:40 PM
an agreement must be found to solve the crisis

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs