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Taiwan protesters set to end occupation of parliament

Student activists were on Thursday set to end their three-week occupation of Taiwan's parliament, but they vowed to press on with their bid to stop the government ratifying a contentious trade pact with China. The demonstrators began dismantling the huge stacks of armchairs they used to barricade themselves in when they seized the chamber on March 18, in the first such occupation of Taiwan's parliament in the island's history.

Taiwan's Ma hopes for summit with China

Taiwan's president said Wednesday he hopes to hold a historic summit with China's leader, but acknowledged that conditions are not yet right, amid domestic opposition to his pro-Beijing policies. President Ma Ying-jeou said the November gathering in Beijing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum -- one of the few international groups in which Taiwan is a member -- would be an ideal time for him to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping as the setting would "greatly minimize the sensitivity."

Taiwan's Ma hopes for summit with China

Taiwan's president said Wednesday he hopes to hold a historic summit with China's leader, but acknowledged that conditions are not yet right, amid domestic opposition to his pro-Beijing policies. President Ma Ying-jeou said the November gathering in Beijing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum -- one of the few international groups in which Taiwan is a member -- would be an ideal time for him to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping as the setting would "greatly minimize the sensitivity."

China angered by latest U.S. arms sale plan for Taiwan

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's defense ministry expressed anger on Wednesday after the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to authorize the sale to Taiwan of four second-hand U.S. warships, saying the United States had ignored Chinese protests. China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island at the end of a civil war with the communists in 1949. China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.

China won't 'stir up troubles' in Japan dispute

Beijing will not act first to "stir up troubles" over island disputes with neighbours, China's defence minister said Tuesday at a meeting with American counterpart Chuck Hagel. China and Japan are embroiled in a bitter row over disputed islands in the East China Sea controlled by Tokyo, with the tensions raising concerns about the possibility of a clash between the Asian powers.

U.S. Senate warns China over air defense zone

A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators, led by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Democrat Robert Menendez, introduced a resolution Monday criticizing China's Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea as an effort by Beijing to "change the status quo" in the waters. The resolution also calls on Beijing not to establish "administrative measures or controls" in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

China gives US defence chief a tour of its aircraft carrier

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got a first-hand look at China's new aircraft carrier on Monday as Beijing offered an unprecedented glimpse into its growing military clout. Hagel praised the ship tour as a promising step forward for a fledgling US dialogue with the often secretive People's Liberation Army (PLA), but the two sides remained deeply divided on cyber-spying and regional territorial disputes.

Taiwan protesters to end occupation of parliament

Taiwanese protesters who have occupied parliament for three weeks to try to block a contentious services trade agreement with China said Monday they would end their protest this week after claiming success. The demonstrators -- mostly young students -- occupied the main chamber on March 18 in the island's first-ever such protest. "We'll walk out of parliament at 6:00 pm (1000 GMT) Thursday. We also invite all friends to come and meet us outside parliament," student leader Chen Wei-ting announced in a televised press conference.

U.S. defense chief, in first, visits China's aircraft carrier

By Phil Stewart QINGDAO, China (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took a two-hour tour around China's sole aircraft carrier on Monday, in an unprecedented opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military power. The carrier visit came at the start of Hagel's three day trip to China, his first as defense secretary, and was described by one U.S. official traveling with him as an apparently genuine gesture of transparency by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Taiwan protesters against China trade pact to leave legislature Thurs

Opponents of a trade deal with China promised Monday to end their weeks-long protest on Thursday when they will leave the legislative chamber they have been occupying since March 18. Chen Wei-ting, a leader of the roughly 200 protesters made up mainly of university students, said most of their demands have been met, urging supporters to welcome their departure from the legislative compound at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
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