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Sunflower protests recast Taiwan's ties with the world, activist says

March is 10th anniversary of student movement that stopped a trade deal with China

Demonstrators holding sunflowers shout slogans in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei on March 30, 2014.    © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's place in the world has been fundamentally redefined by the Sunflower student protests a decade ago that halted economic integration with China, a prominent activist said.

Ten years ago this month, hundreds of student protesters broke into Taiwan's national legislature and occupied it for 23 days to block efforts by the then-ruling Kuomintang (KMT) to push through a deal on service trades with China. Those inside the legislative building were supported by tens of thousands in the streets, driven by a collective anxiety over Taiwan's future in China's economic orbit.

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