Taiwan protesters clash with police as tensions over China pact flare

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Dozens of people were hurt in the clashes, police said, with many arrested.
Taiwanese police have clashed with hundreds of students who occupied government headquarters to protest at a trade deal with China.
Police used water cannon and dragged out students one by one, clearing the building by dawn on Monday.
Authorities said on Monday that they arrested at least 58 protesters and that more than 110 people were injured, some seriously.
The unrest began last Tuesday, when the protesters occupied Taiwan\’s parliament after the government refused to back away from a trade pact with Beijing that would open dozens of service sector industries to Chinese investment.
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party has always been leery of closer ties with Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a rogue province, and says the deal would damage the island\’s democratic freedoms and pave the way for China\’s eventual takeover of Taiwan.
On Friday thousands of people rallied to support the students, and the the opposition Democratic Progressive Party has also backed them.
On Sunday, President Ma Ying-jeou said that the occupation of parliament broke the law, adding: "I must say that [the pact] is completely for the sake of Taiwan\’s economic future."
Late on Sunday, some protesters pushed past riot police to storm the government headquarters, pulling down barbed wire and using ladders to access second-floor offices.
Violent clashes erupted as police moved to restore order.
China is Taiwan\’s biggest trading partner and in recent years ties between the two have improved.
The two sides split at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Source: Agencies

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