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Taiwan protesters to consider leaving occupied Parliament after govt concession on China pact

Published on Apr 6, 2014 10:48 PM
Student protest leaders Chen Wei-ting (front left) and Lin Fei-fan (right) shouting slogans inside Parliament as more than 200 protesters -- mostly students -- occupy the building in Taipei on April 6, 2014. Student protesters have occupied parliament for more than two weeks over a contentious trade agreement with China in a bid to pressure the embattled government. -- PHOTO: AFP 

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Protesters occupying Taiwan's Parliament for the last three weeks to block a trade pact with China said on Sunday they will consider leaving now the government has announced a key concession.

Concerned that the deal would increase China's economic influence and hurt local business, the protesters paralysed the legislature to halt the pact's ratification, in the island's worst political crisis in years.

Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said on Sunday that Parliament would now approve a "review mechanism" of trade agreements before the Chinese pact is passed - something the protesters hope will give Taiwan the ability to temper Beijing's clout.

"We strongly support the decision of Speaker Wang to agree to enact the supervisory mechanism before further (parliamentary) review of the trade pact," the protesters said in a statement. A spokesman for the protesters, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters: "Right now we are deliberating whether to vacate the legislature."

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