The protests over this trade agreement may seem to be a reaction to a very current issue, but in reality these protests have their roots in historical conflict. While many Westerners don’t differentiate too much between Taiwan and China, the truth is that these two separate entities have historically had very rough relations. During the final years of the Chinese Civil War, the Communist party known as the CPC was getting the better of the ROC government party. In response to this, the ROC retreated to the island of Taiwan, while the CPC remained in the areas around Beijing. Since then, tensions between Taiwan and China have remained very high, with citizens of both countries having strong opposing views of each other.
These tensions can help us understand why the Taiwanese students so strongly oppose this free-trade agreement between Taiwan and China, which has been described by some individuals as the Taiwanese fighting for their freedom and democracy, and has many Taiwanese citizens voicing their beliefs very strongly that this trade agreement will once again give the Chinese government too much unwanted control over them. As tensions and strongly opposing views remain present, it is unlikely that these protestors will simply give up at any time soon.