Tsai calls for calm over pension protests

China | 20 Apr 2017

Taiwan's leader called for calm after violent protests over pension reforms outside parliament yesterday saw scores of demonstrators scuffling with police and politicians.

The rallies were staged as parliament began reviewing controversial bills designed to stop the struggling pension system from collapsing but are expected to hit nearly 500,000 civil servants and teachers.

Several lawmakers and politicians said they were pushed, punched and had water splashed on them as they tried to enter the legislative complex in central Taipei, which was guarded by barbed- wire barricades and heavy police presence.

President Tsai Ing-wen vowed to press ahead with the changes and said her government would not tolerate violence.

"Intentionally causing conflicts will not deter the [government's] determination for reforms our urgent task is to bring the pension system back from the brink of bankruptcy," she said.

The government has warned that various pension funds are likely to go bankrupt within three to 14 years unless the system is overhauled.


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