Tens Of Thousands Rally In Taiwan Against China Pact

TAIPEI — Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Taipei on Saturday as Taiwan prepares to seal a major trade deal with Beijing that opponents fear is a step towards Chinese control. "Oppose ECFA!", "Save Taiwan!", protesters shouted at the march in downtown Taipei organised by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The party claimed 100,000 people had turned out to demonstrate against the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), while the police put the number at 32,000. "Taiwan should decide its own future," DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen told supporters who thronged a square near the presidential office despite heavy rain. "We don't want to fall victim to ECFA because many people will lose their jobs." Security was tight, with over 2,000 police deployed for the event, organised before Taiwanese envoy Chiang Pin-kung travels to China to sign the agreement on Tuesday. Taiwan and China have been governed separately since a civil war in 1949.