The students’ occupation this month of Taiwan’s parliament to oppose the government’s attempt to pass a controversial trade agreement with China is indeed unprecedented. The trade deal allows Beijing and Taipei to invest more freely in each other’s service markets. Protesters say the deal will hurt Taiwan’s economy and leave it vulnerable to pressure from Beijing, but Taipei says it will benefit Taiwan’s economy.
Beijing’s official media joins Taipei in criticizing the protesters.
People’s Daily Online quoted from the Chicago China News & Digest, a local Chinese language newspaper, which stated that the Taiwan Benevolent Association in Chicago had issued a "solemn declaration" that the recent development revolving around the trade deal turned Taiwan’s representative politics into "mob politics." Opposition parties’ politicians are using inexperienced students as a tool in a power struggle. They have trampled on democratic politics and disgraced Taiwan’s international image.
People’s Daily Online also quoted from the Taiwan based United Daily News that some Taiwanese have organized a "White Justice Alliance" and called for a street parade on March 29. The Alliance states that not everyone is against the trade deal.
[Editor’s note: The students are also concerned that the KMT has steamrolled the political system, reneging on a promise to allow a thorough review and public consultation on the terms of the deal, thus threatening Taiwan’s hard-earned democratic system.]
Source: People’s Daily Online, March 27, 2014