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China Times: A few words for students occupying the Legislature
Central News Agency
2014-03-24 11:51 AM
The ongoing stalemate over the Taiwan-China trade in services agreement has shown no signs of easing despite an effort by President Ma Ying-jeou to address the public on the issue on Sunday and a meeting between Premier Jiang Yi-huah and student-led protesters occupying the Legislative Yuan the previous day. Such a result was predictable. The protesters had set several preconditions for their dialogue with the government, one being that the pact be scrapped. This, in effect, blocked any possibility for dialogue. It is clear that the protesters have no interest in Ma's explanation and have no intention of ending their occupation unless their demands are met. And it appears unlikely that the Executive Yuan, which has said it will not use force to disperse the protesters, will have any more dialogue with them. This crisis has taught us a lesson: Besides conflicts between unification and independence backers, blues and greens, north and south, and social classes, Taiwan faces a generational issue. The group of young people gathering at the Legislative Yuan represents the emergence of the generation born after 1990. This is an anxious generation facing high unemployment, low starting salaries, and exorbitant housing prices. People of this generation are never without their smartphones, and most of them have developed their perceptions of the pact from information obtained online and were mobilized to gather at the Legislature through social media. Regrettably, the government has not put much effort in this area and is using the language and communication model of the older generation to reach out to the public. After venting their anger, these young people should calm down and examine what the trade in services pact is all about and should not accept all the information they see on the Internet. (Editorial abstract -- March 24, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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