Local leaders react positively to student protesters' decision
Central News Agency
2014-04-07 11:22 PM
Taipei, April 7 (CNA) The leaders of five of Taiwan's biggest municipalities generally reacted positively to a decision by student protesters to withdraw from the Legislature later this week. The student protesters announced Monday night that their occupation of the legislative body's main chamber would end at 6 p.m. Thursday after having lasted more than three weeks. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said society paid a hefty price for the student movement, but credited it for giving people in Taiwan the chance to review both positive and negative views of cross-strait exchanges. New Taipei Mayor Eric Li-luan Chu agreed that society paid a heavy price for the protest but said it had also learned many lessons. Taoyuan County Magistrate Wu Chih-yang urged the public to refocus on the issues themselves, saying that addressing them would be in the best interests of the people. Among the two Democratic Progressive Party leaders heading southern Taiwan's two biggest cities, Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te supported the students' move to withdraw after completing their mission. Lai said he was impressed by the civic power and defense of democracy displayed by the movement. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu thanked the students for waging a fair battle for Taiwan, and expressed the hope that the ensuing oversight law on cross-strait agreements would live up to public expectations. Taichung Mayor Jason Hu had not commented on the students' move as of late Monday night. In other reaction, director Lee Yuan, better known by the name Hsiao Yeh, said the decision to withdraw would be a perfect ending and he saw the movement as preventing the government to continue operating with a lack of transparency. He said many people predicted that the student movement would not last long when it began on March 18, but he was happy to see that the students were imaginative and had built up momentum. "I'm supporting them, and I don't feel that they are damaging public property," the director said. The White Justice Social Alliance said retreating from the Legislature was the right thing for the students to do, but it said they should still "shoulder their responsibility" for damaging public property. Taiwan's representative to France Michel Lu said the occupation of the Legislature enabled the public to think more rationally about the services pact with China on the one hand, but the public also continued life as usual, showing how deeply rooted democracy is in Taiwan. (By Sabine Cheng, Angela Tsai, Emmanuel Tzeng and Lilian Wu)
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