Apr 03 2014

Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement Demands Democractic Control Over Trade Deal

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese have been marching in the streets of Taiwan’s cities following ratification of a trade deal between China and Taiwan. The deal would strengthen Chinese economic presence in Taiwan and potentially destroy local businesses. Hundreds of students have been occupying the Legislative Yuan legislature building since the trade pact was ratified. Riot police who were sent in to disperse the crowds brutally beat protesters and seriously injured 70 people.

The Sunflower Revolution as it’s being called wants a complete nullification of the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement or CSSTA and there has been widespread criticism of President Ma Ying-jeou’s neoliberal policies.

Today, the Taiwanese Cabinet, following the intense pressure of thousands of protesters over the last two weeks released a draft bill to monitor trade deals with China. But protesters are skeptical of the bill which does not allow the Taiwanese parliament to veto any measures.

GUEST: Dr. Ketty Chen is the Director of Research with The Association of Public Issues Studies, a think tank in Taipei, Taiwan and a visiting scholar at the National Taiwan University.

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