|Taipei student protesters draw red line
Protesters barricaded themselves inside Taiwan's parliament for a third straight day, threatening “further action'' if the government pushes ahead with its plans to ratify a contentious trade pact with China.
More than 200 protesters – mostly young students – crashed through security barriers and took over the parliament's main chamber late Tuesday in the first such occupation of the building in Taiwan's history.
Hundreds of policemen attempted to barge their way in on Wednesday and end the occupation, but they failed.
Student leader Chen Wei-ting said the protesters would mount “further action'' unless President Ma Ying-jeou responds to their demands by tomorrow.
“We demand the government return the pact to China, tell China we don't accept it,'' student leader Lin Fei-fan told reporters, whose antics have been broadcast around the clock by Taiwanese TV networks.
“We ask President Ma Ying-jeou to respond to our demands by noon Friday or we will take further action,'' Chen added, as the crowd chanted “return the service trade pact, defend democracy.''
While waiting for the government's response in the chamber short of air conditioning, the protesters kept chanting slogans and singing as they managed to keep their spirits high.—AFP