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Flag of Taiwan
  1. Taiwan Main Page
  2. Breaking from Mainland Influence
  3. New President Brings New Beginning
  4. Heightened Tensions
  5. Independence Rejected
  6. Political Leaders Stumble, Fall
  7. Taiwan and China Benefit from Trade Agreement
  8. Fallout over Closer Ties to China and Poor Economy
Fallout over Closer Ties to China and Poor Economy

Hundreds of protesters, mostly students, occupied Parliament in March 2014, demonstrating against implementation of a service trade agreement with China. The deal is part of the controversial Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement Taiwan signed with China in 2010. Protesters said the trade agreement would hurt Taiwan's small businesses and give China further influence over Taiwan. They also objected to a lack of transparency in passing the agreement. President Ma defended the deal. "Regional economic integration is an unstoppable global trend. If we do not face this and join in the process, it will only be a matter of time before we are eliminated from the competition," he said. "For the sake of the nation's development, we truly have no choice."

Voters expressed their disappointment in the closer relations with China and its failure to improve Taiwan's stalled economy by voting against Kuomintang, the ruling party in the Nov. 2014 local elections. Premier Jiang Yi-huah took responsibility for his party's defeat, and his cabinet resigned soon after the election. President Ma Ying-jeou resigned as chairman of Kuomintang. He was replaced by Eric Chu, the mayor of Taipei. On Dec. 8, 2014, Mao Chi-kuo was named premier. Previously, he served as vice premier in Jaing Yi-huah's cabinet for almost two years.

In early Nov. 2015, a meeting was announced between the presidents of Taiwan and China. They met for first time since 1949, when the Chinese revolution ended. The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou was seen as a test on the thawing relations between the two countries. The two leaders met during the weekend of Nov. 7-8 in Singapore, a neutral territory on good terms with both countries. It was seen by many observers as the last chance for China to push for closer ties economically and politically before Taiwan headed into presidential and legislative elections in January 2016.

Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Nov. 2015
Source: AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying

See also Encyclopedia: Taiwan .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Taiwan
Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics www.stat.gov.tw/ .
See also Timeline: Taiwan Key Events (1945–Present) .

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