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U.S. citizens notified about protests surrounding Ma's inauguration

2012/05/17 18:17:57

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) The American Institution in Taiwan (AIT) has issued a notice to United States citizens about scheduled protests taking place before and during President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration May 20, asking individuals to avoid demonstration areas.

Demonstrations are expected at Taipei Main Station, major tourist locations and government offices May 19-20, according to the notice, which was recently posted on the AIT's website.

The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

Noting that peaceful demonstrations could also turn confrontational, the AIT asked individuals to "avoid demonstration areas if at all possible."

"We have done notices before based on the predicted size and location of a demonstration,"AIT spokesman Christopher Kavanagh told CNA in a phone interview.

The major opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is scheduled to take to the streets May 19 to voice dissatisfaction over rising electricity, fuel and commodity prices.

DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien said that his party hopes to muster at least 100,000 people at three gathering points in Taipei -- National Taiwan University's front gate, Wanhua Railway Station and the historical Taipei Songshan Tobacco Plant.

The minor opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union has stated its intention to stage a 100,000-strong demonstration close to the Presidential Office on inauguration day.

(By Nancy Liu)