The push by President Ma Ying-jeou’s government for Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan to ratify the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) has sparked increasing opposition in the form of what has been dubbed the Sunflower student movement. TISA serves as a follow up to the 2010 Economic Cooperation and Framework Agreement, and it will open Taiwan to further trade with mainland China, a prospect many in Taiwan are increasingly worried about. The protesters originally called for the KMT-dominated Legislative Yuan to abide by its promise to review TISA clause-by-clause, but now demand that the government withdraw the bill and create an oversight group for China-related issues and agreements.
The number of days that protestors in the Sunflower Student Movement have occupied the chamber of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan as of April 3. Protesters first seized control of the chamber, an unprecedented act, on March 18.
The approximate number of people currently inside the legislative chamber. The students and their sympathizers have refused to move out of the chamber until their demands are met.
The number of protesters who gathered on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, as estimated by the police. On March 30, demonstrators conducted a peaceful sit-in that concluded that evening. Organizers claim that about half a million participated.
Number of countries that hosted the “24-Hour Relay Across the Globe in Support of Taiwan” rally. To demonstrate their support for the Sunflower student movement and the rally in front of the Presidential office, Taiwanese students and expats gathered in forty-nine cities–including Berlin, London, Tokyo, and New York.
The percentage of adult Taiwanese who support the withdrawal and renegotiation of TISA in a TVBS poll of 1,057 Taiwanese conducted on March 24. 18% opposed the withdrawal of TISA, while 19% had no opinion. A slight majority (51%) supported the student occupation of the Legislative Yuan, compared to 38% who opposed and 11% who had no opinion.