27 February 2020

Taiwan parliament reopens after 24-day occupation

Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan is set to reopen on Friday after students protesting a trade pact with mainland China ended their 24-day occupation of the parliament around 6 p.m. Thursday, the United Daily News reported.

Sun Lih-chyun, spokesman of the island’s cabinet, said it was good to see the students leave peacefully. Nearly 3,000 bills had piled up in the legislative dockets as a result of the occupation. Seven bills on the proposed oversight for cross-strait agreements, including those incorporating the proposals of the students, are scheduled for review today, according to the newspaper.

Lin Fei-fan, leader of the student protests called the Sunflower Movement, said they came with dreams and were now leaving with responsibilities, adding that their retreat does not mean an end, and the next step will be to expand the movement to the entire island.

The students vowed to closely monitor the pact’s review and the oversight legislation while pursuing their demand for a people’s constitutional assembly. The also warned they will reoccupy the legislature if the ruling Kuomintang fails to fulfill its promises.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday no democratic country would accept the students’ behavior in occupying the parliament, but the students said they are ready to face any legal responsibilities, the report said.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]