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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Protesters Say China Invading Taiwan by Economic Means -- Say pact would leave country beholden to China’s interests -- By Daniel Wiser, The Washington Free Beacon

Protesters display a banner denouncing the controversial China Taiwan trade pact / APMore than 100,000 Taiwanese protesters over the weekend voiced concerns that a proposed trade pact with China would leave the democratic island increasingly beholden to its neighbor’s interests.

The protests swelled on Sunday in opposition to the deal that would open up dozens of service sectors to trade between Taiwan and China. Demonstrators have also occupied Taiwan’s parliament building.

Protesters warned that China was attempting to “invade” Taiwan by economic means and called on President Ma Ying-jeou to reconsider the trade deal, which must still be ratified by Taiwan’s legislature. Ma has sought closer relations with China and secured the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010 to lower tariffs between the two countries.

Claude Barfield, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former consultant to the U.S. Trade Representative during the Ronald Reagan administration, said in an interview that the protests could serve as a prelude to local elections in November.

Potential Chinese access to Taiwan’s financial and legal services, for example, hit “closer to the nub of political sensitivities” and have stoked a nationalist backlash, he said.

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