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Taiwan Riot Police Clear Government Offices of Protesters

  • VOA News

Police use water cannons to disperse demonstrators as they protest against a trade pact with mainland China, near Taiwan's government headquarters in Taipei, early morning, March 24, 2014.
Riot police armed with batons and shields used water cannon on dozens of angry protesters to clear Taiwan's Cabinet offices, which demonstrators had seized Sunday in as part of a days-long protest against a trade deal with communist China.

Authorities said on Monday that they arrested at least 58 protesters and that more than 110 people were injured, some seriously.

The unrest began last Tuesday, when the protesters occupied Taiwan's parliament after the government refused to back away from a trade pact with Beijing that would open dozens of service sector industries to Chinese investment.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party has always been leery of closer ties with Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a rogue province, and says the deal would damage the island's democratic freedoms and pave the way for China's eventual takeover of Taiwan.