Hundreds of Taiwan students stormed the ministry of education compound on Friday.
About 200 students climbed the fences of the education ministry overnight and camped in the compound protesting against new curriculum guidelines. The students were outraged over pro-China views in Taiwan’s textbooks and demanded exclusion of topics promoting Beijing’s “One China” policy.
The protesters also demanded the resignation of Education Minister Wu Se-hwa and authorities to drop all charges against the activists who stormed into Wu’s office last week.
Mr. Wu refused to resign from his office and said he is determined to find a way in order to resolve the conflict.
Over the several months, Taiwan students have led a number of demonstrations against closer relations with China. Such protests reflect a rise of nationalism among Taiwan’s young generation, who are determined to be identified as Taiwanese rather than Chinese.
The recent episode of protest came a day after a student leader committed suicide on Thursday. The 20-year-old Lin Kuan-hua was detained last week along with 33 other activists for breaking into the ministry building.
Last year, students occupied country’s parliament for about 24 days that lead to successful cancellation of legislative approval of a controversial trade deal with China. This occupation is considered as the largest anti-China demonstrations in years.
Taiwan has been independent and self-ruled since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949 but Beijing formally regards the island as a part of its territory.
Ko Wen-je mayor of Taipei visited the demonstrations on Friday afternoon and said Taiwan should not be involved in a war of extremism because of ideological issues. He asked the students to protest with reason and peace, and advised them that police are “not public enemies.” IMAGE/latimes