Ma Ying-jeou greets Sunflower Movement member at youth forum – WantChinaTimes

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WantChinaTimes Ma Ying-jeou greets Sunflower Movement member at youth forum WantChinaTimes Taiwan’s president, Ma Ying-jeou, greeted a young member of the medical team that served the Sunflower Student Movement at a youth forum on Sunday, saying he…

Barbara Capilos‘s insight:

On a different note from our last post, the president whose decision caused such unrest amongst the young people of Taiwan, bringing them to begin their Occupy Taiwan protest, is now calling bygones bygones. Ma Ying-jeou met and shook hands with a member of the Sunflower Movement during a forum organized with the intent of listening to the opinions of the young. Chang, the member in question, stated that he had come to the "enemy’s camp" in hopes that Ma would be willing to hear the voice of those who were against him. Ma proved to be surprisingly open, stating that he is happy to meet with student protesters so long as there are no demands, for that is the only time communication can really be true. Chang is stated to have left the interaction with an improved opinion of Ma.

This reaching out between what were conflicting forces–the "enemy", as Chang had said–bodes well for the future of Taiwanese youth and the government. The Sunflower Movement established that the youth of Taiwan are now engaged in the governance process. And this peaceful communication between them and the government despite having had to concede their stand, shows that the engagement will continue, and progress will come from here.

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Issues Concerning the Law

sunflower crackdownLooks like things aren’t quite over just yet. While the actual occupation might be behind us, there is now a scramble as to who should be held accountable and to what extent punishment might be doled- and that’s going both ways. The above photo depicts some of the key figureheads in the Sunflower Movement in the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office, being led to be questioned about their involvement in the protests. The short news article from China Times states that a several members stand accused of a number of offenses, such as obstructing the police in their line of duty, and will be under investigation regarding this.

But just as the members of the protesting group are being investigated for their actions concerning the police, so too are the police being investigated for their actions concerning the protesters. An article in the Taipei Times reveals that legislature is looking into the police crackdown that occurred on March 24th against the protesters who stormed the Executive Yuan.  There is controversy regarding this at the moment, since it appears that the police are being withholding with evidence as to the reality of the account. Though they attested that they already submitted the video footage of the event, none could be found, which is suspicious especially since there are multiple eye witness accounts saying that the police vandalized and used unnecessary force. Their response to the initial Occupy movement is being said to be “tantamount to imposing martial law”. Further investigations will follow, but at the moment, it seems like the protesters are the ones in better shoes.

A Show of Support Around the World: how Citizen Media Played a Hand

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From March 18th to April 10th, the Sunflower Movement took its stand. Though brief, it will no doubt continue to be seen as significant moment in history, and one that garnered much solidarity around the world. In the photo above only a small collection of the outflow of support for Taiwan is shown, pictured through groupings and rallies all over the globe. The way in which the cause of Occupy Taiwan was able to spread so rapidly actually ties to this picture–or rather, collection of pictures. This was a movement that made use of social media. People tweeted, instagrammed, and, as seen previously in this blog, youtubed every moment. Technology played a crucial role in not only getting the word out of what was happening, but of garnering support through the whole procedure. People were able to learn of Taiwan’s issue through the collective eye of citizen media. The blog Global Voices Online takes a closer look at that in their article “How Technology and Citizen Media Shaped Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement“. The article goes into detail about how the Sunflower Movement used technology to its best advantage. From setting up a live stream of the parliament occupation, to creating websites that explained the exact issues and significances of the trade pact they were protesting, to using Facebook as a way of planning the logistics of their continued protest- every step was planned and supported by citizen media and technology. With technology they offered the world a chance to step in and stand with them, and stand wit them they did. Even if it was from across oceans.

Taiwan: the next democracy in crisis? | East Asia Forum

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Author: Lauren Dickey, CFR The 18 March student occupation of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan has reopened lingering questions about the state of Taiwan’s.

Barbara Capilos‘s insight:

East Asia Forum, a blog covering economics, politics, and public policy in East Asia and the Pacific, addresses what they think this standoff means for the future of Taiwan’s democracy.


These protesters are holding their government accountable, which is a promising development in the eyes of East Asia Forum. They also predict the continuing plummet in popularity of President Ma, even so far as that it might have an effect on the 2016 presidential election. And finally that this current occupation movement shows that a good portion of the Taiwanese people feel that their government has been doing them wrong, and that this movement will result in a strain on future China Taiwan relations. In the end however, a strain in relations is better than a loss of independence in this blog’s eyes.

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Intro to the Issue

On Tuesday March 18th, several hundred protesters (mostly comprised of students) stormed parliament in response to the upcoming Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA)– a trade pact set to be ratified with China that will open up service sectors in both countries. The protesters are worried over the economic toll this pact would take on Taiwan, as well as the risk it creates in leaving the nation open to China’s political influence. Some of the controversy sparked comes from the fact that the process of passing this agreement has been undemocratic and has lacked transparency.

The occupation of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, the first of its kind in the history of the Republic of China, is still underway. This goal of this blog is to curate any and all information on this significant movement as it progresses. To start, check this early article from Time magazine that summed up the situation as it was just beginning. Further information will follow.

Welcome to Occupy Taiwan.