Mon, Sep 09, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Protesters tear down a MOFA sign

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Peter Wang, center, convener of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign, holds a Ministry of Foreign Affairs sign that was torn off the ministry building during a protest in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Pro-independence protesters tore down a name board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday and clashed with police on the sidelines of their protest against what they described as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) poor governance and pro-China position.

Hundreds of supporters of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign (908台灣國) staged a protest on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building and the ministry yesterday afternoon, raising a Taiwan national flag and throwing shoes at the Presidential Office — an annual event of the pro-independence group.

“The Republic of China [ROC] government has been a government-in-exile for 68 years and the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] has yet to develop a Taiwan-centric identity. Ma has been selling out Taiwan since taking office, that is why we’re here,” said Peter Wang (王獻極), convener of the group

The group held its annual ceremony yesterday on the 62nd anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco on Sept. 8, 1951, a date they say marked Taiwan’s independence.

The crowds were supposed to turn themselves in at the Supreme Prosecutors Office’s Special Investigation Division after the protest, but about a dozen protesters broke into the ministry compound and tore down a metal sign that reads “Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Wang said they decided to tear down the sign because of Ma’s diplomatic truce policy on China, which advocated lowering bilateral tensions between Taiwan and China by “not being provocative.”

Wang also demanded to meet with Ma and asked supporters to hold on to the sign.

The police engaged in a half-hour stalemate with the protesters in the compound before snatching the metal sign back.

Zhongzheng First Precinct Police Chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧), commander of the police force at the scene, said the protesters had violated the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) and committed offenses by obstructing officers in the discharge of their duties.

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