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M503 protesters nabbed near presidential residence

M503 protesters nabbed near presidential residence

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Demonstrators against China’s M503 fly route were detained by police after having daubed the outer walls of President Ma Ying-jeou’s official residence with paint Saturday.
On March 29, Chinese civilian airliners will start plying the route close to the median line over the Taiwan Straits, inciting fears that the communist nation might eventually use the route for a military attack against the island.
Objections from Taiwan persuaded Beijing to move the route some 6 nautical miles west away from the median line, but the opposition has kept up its protests. Over the past days, the protesters surfaced outside the Mainland Affairs Council and even succeeded in entering the Legislative Yuan compound despite heightened security in the wake of last spring’s occupation by students.
Around midnight Friday evening, young supporters of the Taiwan Solidarity Union appeared outside Ma’s official residence, several blocks away from the Presidential Office Building, and threw red paint at its gate and walls, reports said.
As members of the military police and regular police officers ran to the scene, the protesters shouted slogans accusing Ma of selling out the country and demanding his resignation over the concessions to China over the M503 route.
After 20 minutes of scuffling, police succeeded in removing the threat and took seven protesters away for questioning at the Zhongzheng No.2 precinct, reports said.
The Presidential Office condemned the action of the TSU supporters and called for peaceful resolution of political differences.
The MAC has been defending its decision to drop opposition to the new route, saying it did not infringe on Taiwan’s national sovereignty. Critics say that because it is so close to the imaginary line dividing Taiwanese from Chinese airspace, China will be able to let jets or bombers take the same route and leave Taiwan unsure whether the planes are civilian or not. In other words, Taiwan’s defense will have less time to react to a potential Chinese military attack, the critics said.


Updated : 2021-09-24 12:05 GMT+08:00