As the protests continuing to gain numbers with no signs of weakening, the president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, is beginning to take note.
Last week, a spokesperson for Ma released as statement saying that “without setting any preconditions, President Ma Ying-jeou is willing to invite student representatives to the presidential office for a dialogue about the cross-strait services trade agreement.” Since releasing this statement, however, the protest has continued to increase in strength, placing more pressure on Ma to quell the public outcry, which includes the demand to completely retract this trade agreement, a demand which Ma is not keen on accepting.
This increased pressure has led president Ma to releasing another statement just this past day. This time, laying out a bid in which a law be constructed to monitor all agreements made with China. While this may seem like a step in the right direction towards a compromise between protesters and the Taiwanese government, Ma has also now made it clear that the protesters’ demand of retracting the trade agreement between Taiwan and China will not be fulfilled.
As this remains the protesters’ main demand, this refusal to give in by President Ma seems to indicate that this protest is far from over. However, this increased pressure on the government, as well as the president’s responses mark an interesting turning point in this ongoing conflict.