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Dozens held in Taiwan as tensions over China pact flare

Dozens of people were detained in Taipei late Sunday after violent clashes erupted between police and protesters, following the Taiwanese president's refusal to scrap a contentious trade agreement with China. Hundreds of protesters who had been staging a demonstration against the trade pact pushed past riot police in full gear to storm the government headquarters, before the crowd was dispersed shortly after midnight.

Taiwan protesters clash with police as tensions over China pact flare

Clashes erupted between protesters and police Sunday after Taiwan's president refused to scrap a contentious trade agreement with China and denounced the "illegal" occupation of parliament by students opposed to its ratification. On Tuesday around 200 protesters, mostly young students, broke through security barriers and took over parliament's main chamber, the first such occupation of the building in the island's history.

Taiwan leader defends China pact as protesters occupy parliament

Taiwan's president on Sunday refused to scrap a contentious trade pact with China, denouncing the "illegal" occupation of parliament by protesters who are opposed to its ratification. Around 200 protesters, mostly young students, broke through security barriers and took over parliament's main chamber on Tuesday night and have remained there ever since -- the first such occupation of the building in the island's history.

Taiwan premier says won't withdraw China trade pact

Taiwan's Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah said Saturday the government will not withdraw a contentious trade pact with China, rejecting calls from protesters occupying parliament to stop its ratification. In the first direct dialogue between the government and protesters, Jiang walked to the parliament building surrounded by bodyguards as some protesters jostled and shouted "step down" in footage broadcast live on local television.

China's economy facing 'downward pressure': state think tank

BEIJING, March 22 (Yonhap) -- China's economy is facing "downward pressure" as Beijing pushes for economic reforms amid persistent worries about global economic recovery, a senior official at China's top state think-tank said Saturday. Liu Shijin, vice president of China's State Council Development Research Center, however, voiced optimism that the Chinese economy can weather such downward risks, citing what he calls "conditions" set by China's leadership "for stabilizing its economy."

European stocks drop at open

European stock markets fell in initial deals on Thursday, mirroring drops on Wall Street and in Asia on the prospect of a hike in US interest rates sooner than expected. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.40 percent to 6,546.73 points. The CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.76 percent to 4,275.26 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 0.66 percent to 9,215.70 compared with Wednesday's closing values. Wrapping up a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve said it would cut a further $10 billion from its monthly stimulus programme, as widely predicted.

China detains second leader of rebel village

Chinese prosecutors have detained on bribery charges a deputy chief of a village which attracted worldwide attention when it rebelled against its Communist leaders, a local government website said. Hong Ruichao, one of the leaders of the 2011 uprising in the southern village of Wukan which saw locals drive out Communist Party officials accused of illegal land grabs, was held on Wednesday, according to the official blog of Lufeng city, which administers Wukan.

Taiwan legislature besieged by protesters opposed to China trade pact

About 200 protesters occupied Taiwan's legislative chamber Wednesday after entering the compound late Tuesday to demand the law-making body review a trade deal with Beijing that the students say will hurt Taiwan's economy. Police estimated more than 2,000 protesters are inside and outside the legislature. National Police Agency Director General Wang Cho-chiun said 38 law enforcement officers were injured during a series of violent confrontations with the protesters late Tuesday and Wednesday, and one officer was hospitalized.

Taiwan protesters occupy parliament over China trade pact

Hundreds of Taiwanese activists were locked in a tense standoff with police Wednesday after they stormed parliament to try to stop the government ratifying a contentious trade agreement with China. Around 200 protesters -- mostly young students -- broke through security barriers and took over parliament's main chamber on Tuesday night, the first such occupation of the building in the island's history. They barricaded the doorways with piles of armchairs, blocking out hundreds of policemen who failed to push their way in early Wednesday.

Hong Kong stocks close flat

Hong Kong shares ended flat Wednesday as attention turned to the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the day, while traders also kept an eye on the Crimean crisis. The benchmark Hang Seng Index edged down 14.81 points to 21,568.69 on turnover of HK$64.17 billion (US$8.28 billion). Tensions in Eastern Europe rose on Tuesday when President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty absorbing Crimea into Russia following a weekend referendum Western leaders slammed as illegal.
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