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Half A Million March In Taiwan Against China, President

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Saturday, Oct 25, 2008

Close to half a million people marched in Taiwan on Saturday to protest against the government’s growing ties with China, where a tainted milk powder scandal has fueled fresh distrust toward Beijing among island citizens.In the strongest display of opposition yet to President Ma Ying-jeou, demonstrators flooded central Taipei demanding that Ma step down over his friendly approach to Chinese officials.

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own and has threatened to use force, if necessary, to bring the island under its rule.

“If the government continues what it’s doing now, we feel it’s closing possibilities for the future of Taiwan,” said main opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen.

The protests, organized by the party, come ahead of a first-ever visit by Chen Yunlin, Beijing’s top negotiator on Taiwan affairs, on November 3 and could continue into next month to get the official’s attention.

(Article continues below)

China has claimed Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT fled to the island. But the two sides have held historic talks and established new trade and transit links since Ma took office in May, following decades of hostility.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

After a first wave of activists camped overnight outside the presidential office, protesters marched along five routes waving strongly worded banners urging Ma and his premier to step down. They urged the government to pull back from China.

This article was posted: Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 4:30 am

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