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    Posted June 27, 2014 by
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    Protesters Face Police Brutality, Chinese Official Face Generosity

    (June 26, Wulai, Taiwan) Protesters tied together with metal chains and ropes formed a human blockade on the road, in protest of China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun's visit to Taiwan. Police tightened the chains around protestors' waists and forcefully dragged them on the road to clear way for Zhang's car to pass. Protesters were screaming in pain as police pulled on chains around their waist, choking them. Meanwhile, reporters were pushed aside by the police who replied "So what" and "What's the big deal about having a media pass?" when reporters presenting their press passes. The dozen protesters were then handcuffed and arrested before Zhang's car approached. Zhang's itinerary was reportedly delayed by 20 minutes.

    Yesterday morning before Zhang was to meet his Taiwanese counterpart at the Novotel Hotel, secret police without search warrant broke into the hotel rooms of activists staying at the same hotel. Secret police surrounded the rooms prohibiting the activists from leaving till Zhang’s meeting is over. Then police took the activists to the police station without an explanation or a charge.

    Police violence and press restriction are becoming more severe since the Sunflower Movement in March, when students occupied the Legislature Yuan in protest of the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement (CSSTA) with Beijing. With President Ma Ying-jeou and his central government eager to advance ties with China, the government is increasingly using police state tactics to silence local opposition.

    Zhang is the most senior Chinese official as of yet to visit Taiwan. Earlier this month, Beijing delivered an article to UN claiming the China’s territorial waters included Taiwan. Zhang's four-day visit to the island is strongly opposed by many Taiwanese who sees the visit as a symbol of China's growing encroachment on the nation's independent sovereignty. More demonstrations are expected to take place over the next 3 days as Zhang tours around the island.

    (Video Credit: Newtalk, Taiwan news agencies)
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