Police evict remaining anti-China protesters from Taiwan parliament
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 00:51
April 11 - Police disperse hundreds of remaining anti-China protesters holding out in Taiwan's legislature. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Police expelled hundreds of remaining anti-China protesters who had refused to leave Taiwan's legislative building on Friday (April 11), local media reported.
Over 200 protesters stayed on the compound of Taiwan's parliament overnight after most of the student-led occupation movement against a trade pact with mainland China ended on Thursday (April 10).
Protesters agreed to go home on Monday (April 7), after the legislature's speaker offered a concession stipulating that a bill allowing Taiwanese lawmakers closer oversight of agreements with China should be approved before they resumed talks on the trade pact.
The demonstrators broke into the parliament building in late March after the trade pact passed a crucial legislative hurdle and stood a single step away from full approval.
Hundreds of protesters took turns occupying the building, repelling police efforts to evict them.
It was the largest anti-Beijing protest in years on the island, where Nationalists fled in 1949 after losing to the Communists in a civil war.
After repeated warnings, the police began their dispersal operation at around 7 a.m. local time (2300 gmt, Thursday), according to local media reports.
At some stage, the police had to carry protesters off the parliament compound or handcuff them before leading them away.
Dozens still refused to leave, and were seen trying to push their way through the entrance to the legislature. They said they would not leave until the pact was repealed.
Demonstrators said the trade pact will benefit wealthy companies with Chinese links and expressed fears it could lead to Chinese encroachments on Taiwan's cherished democratic institutions.
Run as a dictatorship for decades after 1949, Taiwan developed democratic institutions from the 1980s and now has a lively legislature, free elections and a vibrant free press.
The pact would open 80 Chinese service sectors to Taiwan investment and 64 Taiwanese sectors to the mainland. Protesters were particularly angry about the opening of sensitive sectors like printing and advertising.
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