Protesters occupy Taiwan government building over China trade pact
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 01:10
March 24 - Hundreds of demonstrators occupied part of Taiwan's government headquarters in protest against a controversial trade pact with mainland China. Sarah Toms reports.
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Violent scenes outside Tawian's government headquarters.
At least 13 people were injured in clashes with police.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) PROTESTER, CHEN WAN-YI, SAYING:
"Someone on my left side who was dragged away was hit, and on my right side the very last man told me that he was dragged by his hair after he stood up. It's very clear there is excessive use of force in in enforcing the law."
Hundreds of demonstrators occupied the building in protest against a trade pact with mainland China. They were slowly dragged out one by one.
They forced their way into parliament last Tuesday, and have taken to the surrounding streets every day since then.
Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since the Communists took power on the mainland in 1949. But Beijing still views China as a renegade province.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou says the agreement is essential for the island's prosperity.
But protesters here say it will hurt small companies...They're also reluctant to let China expand its influence over Taiwan's democracy, of which residents are fiercely proud.
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