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Thousands rally in Taiwan against China trade pact

International desk |
Update: 2010-06-25 18:02:54

TAIPEI : Thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei on Saturday to protest just days before Taiwan was set to seal a major trade deal with China.

"Oppose ECFA!", "Save Taiwan!", protesters shouted at the march in downtown Taipei organised by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which vowed to gather 100,000 people.

The rally came as Taiwan`s envoy Chiang Pin-kung is set to travel to China to sign the pact, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), on Tuesday.

The administration of Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou has been pushing for the deal, saying it will boost growth and employment.

But opponents say the accord will strengthen China`s clout over the island, marking a first step towards reunification.

Taiwan and China have been governed separately since a civil war in 1949, but Beijing considers the island part of its territory and has vowed to get it back, by force if necessary.

BDST:1340 HRS , June 26, 2010

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