Taiwan’s Sunflower Occupation

The students who have taken over Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan to fight a yet to-be ratified service trade agreement with China in what has come to be called the “sunflower occupation” have to be shaking up the councils in Beijing. The students’ activism in Taiwan has touched off an island-wide reaction against closer ties with China, with a crowd estimated anywhere between 100,000 and half a million taking to the streets Sunday in front of the Presidential Office. It was the biggest protest since Taiwan became a democracy in 1996 and reflects not so much concerns about the trade pact but anger and frustration over the Kuomintang government and local conglomerates inviting Beijing’s continuing encroachment on Taiwan’s media, politics and business.

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