採訪/朱智善 編輯/陳潔 後製/陳建銘
Taiwan’s 330 Anti-Trade Pact vs. Guangdong Demonstration
Recently, 500,000 Taiwanese gathered in front of the
Presidential Palace protesting against the cross strait trade pact.
The entire process went through peacefully and rationally and
the crowd left immediately after the protest, receiving much
praise from the media.
On the same day, a demonstration also took place in Maoming
city of Guangdong Province against a local government decision
to build a PX chemical plant.
Clashes occurred between the protestors and the police
resulting in many deaths and hundreds injured.
The news was completely blocked.
It is analyzed that the two demonstrations reflect the difference
the political systems across the Taiwan Strait.
On March 30, Taiwan Presidential Office was protected by
layers of knife rest and gabion.
Around 500,000 Taiwanese wearing black and holding
sunflowers arrived in front of the Presidential Office shouting
firmly, “Reject trade pact, Defend democracy."
At 7:30PM, the event commander Lin Feifan delivered a
17 minute speech stating that President Ma Ying-jeou did not
address students’ request with concrete answers on the 29th at
the press conference,
therefore, the activity to occupy congress will continue.
After finishing his speech, Lin Feifan dismissed the crowd.
In half of an hour, the crowd was gone, the garbage on the
street was cleared, and the entire process was peaceful
Wu Fan, political commentator: “Under democracy,
Taiwanese share mutual and peaceful interactions with the
Their demands are clear, and the government responds.
Even though no agreement was reached, they will continue
the civil movement and the protest against the trade pact.
There were also people opposing the protest.
But they did not interfere with the protestors.
Peacefully, they exchanged their opinions.
I think this shows how democracy can shape and cultivate
people of civilization."
Taiwan scholars participating in the demonstration opposed the
behind closed doors trade pact, and indicated that people
demand citizens’ participation, open governmental information
and protection of human rights.
Lan Su, commentator: “Why did the cross-strait trade pact
cause such a strong rally?
It is because people in Taiwan worried cross-strait
cooperation through the trade pact will lead to further control
of Taiwan by China.
They worried that protests such as this can not even be
guaranteed one day.
Taiwan might become like China, where no protest is allowed,
or the protest is not reported, and all news is blocked."
The March 30 demonstration, known as the sunflower
movement, has received full media coverage.
Many media, including international media, have praised this
sunflower movement for its historical insight.
However, the protestors across the Taiwan Strait were not so
At 8AM of March 30, tens of thousands of people in Maoming,
Guangdong Province, protested against the local government
plans to build the PX (xylene) chemical plant.
In the demonstration,they held slogans stating “PX project,
Get out of Maoming," and “Protect the public health."
At 7PM, people gathered again in front of the Municipal
The Guangdong authorities dispatched a large number of
armed police and soldiers to conduct forced eviction using
tear gas and water cannons.
Violent clashes broke out.
Wu Fan: “The PX plant is a very poisonous chemical industry.
There are at least a dozen of these plants in China, situated in
For their own and the next generation’s future, they protest
but only meet armed suppression.
It has been so frequent in China these years.
This is the Communist system, the autocratic regime.
The so-called economic interests care for none of the people’s
interests but that of the regime.
It is exactly the opposite approach of Taiwan."
Local media had no report of this clash.
Posts on the Internet were deleted.
On the 31st, netizens revealed through the Web saying that
at least 8 died, 80 seriously injured, and 200 minor injured.
Lan Su: “With the same cultural background, but people share
completely different freedom under two different political
Wu Fan: “There is no freedom of speech, media, press, or
Internet under the dictatorial regime. Everything is blocked.
But, Taiwan keeps everything public to the world, as long as
it does not violate the national interest and confidentiality.
While in China, be it small or big, everything is a national secret.
Only official notice from Xinhua News Agency can be reported."
A netizen stated on the Weibo on the 31st:
The chemical industry is not our future, but these toxic
chemicals are killing our children.
What is our children’s future?
We will soon be gone as we are old, but what about our children?
Interview/Zhu Zhishan Edit/Chen Jie Post-Production/Chen Jianming