Taiwan's students storm education ministry in Taipei in protest of 'pro-China' textbooks after activist, Lin Kuan-hua, takes his own life

200 protesters remained on government premises most of Friday and heckled the education minister, say reports

Aftab Ali
Friday 31 July 2015 15:29 BST
Hundreds of protesters storm the walls of the ministry in Taipei in the early hours of this morning
Hundreds of protesters storm the walls of the ministry in Taipei in the early hours of this morning

Hundreds of students in Taiwan have stormed the education ministry’s walls as they continue to protest against the country’s links with China, according to reports coming in from the country.

The group of almost 200 made it over the building’s fences overnight to stage an all-day sit-in on government premises as they demanded change to their textbooks they say have ‘pro-China links’.

Protests in Taiwan have been escalating over recent weeks over the issue of the ‘biased’ student curriculum and came to a head after authorities yesterday confirmed the suicide of 20-year-old student activist, Lin Kuan-hua, who allegedly took his own life after the government’s refusal to amend pupils’ textbooks.

Protesters use a barricade to push down a barbed wire fence as they cross over into the ministry (via SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
Security staff stop protesters from throwing bottles at Education Minister Wu Se-hwa (centre) as the crowd called for him to resign over the island's 'China-centric' curriculum (via SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)

Before his death, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported how Mr Kuan-Ha “expressed his wish for the ministry to withdraw its new guidelines before his death.”

The large group reportedly remained outside the building for most of Friday as chants of ‘step down, minister’ and ‘retract the curriculum’ continued to echo around the building.

AFP news agency reported how the group heckled the country’s education minister, Wu Se-hwa, when he appeared on the steps to address the crowd.

A protester spray-paints 'government is a murderer' on a pillar outside the ministry this morning (via SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)

Reports suggest that, last week, police arrested 33 people – including Mr Kuan-Ha – for illegal entry and damaging public property when a group of students burst into the minister’s office and blocked authorities from entering. Mr Se-hwa is said to have threatened to file a criminal complaint against the arrested protesters, including three reporters.

China formally regards Taiwan as a part of its territory, even though the island has been governing itself for over 60 years, since the two sides separated at the end of 1949’s Chinese civil war.

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