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Supporters of trade pact with China rally at Legislature

2014/04/01 21:13:20

Taipei, April 1 (CNA) A rally held by some 1,000 demonstrators supporting the trade-in-services agreement with China in front of the Legislative Yuan Tuesday drew heavy media attention due to the appearance of Chang An-lo, president of the Unionist Party, a pro-unification political party.

The demonstrators, composed of several civic groups, including the Taiwan Laborers' Welfare Alliance, tried to hold a dialogue with the student-led protesters opposing the pact who have occupied the main legislative chamber since March 18. However, no dialogue was held after their respective representatives failed to achieve a consensus. They were then separated by police.

Chang, a.k.a "White Wolf" who used to lead the Bamboo Union gang, announced the end of the rally at around 5 p.m. to avoid causing traffic jams, but said the demonstrators would return.

Despite being separated by police, pro-trade pact demonstrators and student-led protesters shouted at each other, with the former camp attempting several times to force its way through a police cordon.

While asking police to disperse student-led protesters, Chang, who was on an election campaign vehicle, accused the opposition Democratic Progressive Party of corruption and vote-buying.

In return, Chang was heckled by the student-led protesters as a gangster.

Security was beefed up for the demonstration, with the police presence reportedly tripled to around 740 officers, to ensure that the rival groups did not come into direct contact with each other.

(By Cheng Chi-chung, Liu Jian-bang and Evelyn Kao)
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(Click here for the latest on the ongoing protest and developments since the Legislature occupation starting March 18.)