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Students occupying Taiwan government take to Reddit AMA

The Sunflower Movement of students occupying Taiwan's national assembly have explained their goals in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session.

Sean Su, Chen Wei-ting, Lin Yu-hsuan and Oliver Chen answer questions on Reddit from the Taiwanese protest.Imgur

Taiwanese students peacefully occupying Taiwan's legislature building have taken to Reddit with an Ask Me Anything to explain their goals.

Students and protestors took over the national legislature's assembly hall more than two weeks ago, in opposition to a trade pact that could leave Taiwan more economically reliant on China.

Led by 25-year-old Lin Fei-Fan and 24-year-old Chen Wei-ting, protestors known as the Sunflower Movement survived early eviction attempts and have organised a peaceful occupation in the legislature building, complete with recycling bins and cameras broadcasting a live feed on Ustream.

Taking to Reddit, protest leaders laid out their objections to the trade deal, balancing cost-benefit figures of local GDP against economic and social independence from China, and registering general dissatisfaction with the government.

Questions, comments and messages of support filled the AMA from all corners of the globe. Asked about similarities between the current political situations in Taiwan and Ukraine, protestor Lin Yu-hsuan notes that "Both of us seem to have a younger generation wanting to move forward and connect more with the rest of the world. Unfortunately a decreasing but vocal group in the older generation continues to want to hold us back in favor of Russia/China."

"You guys are so brave," says one Redditt user. "I'm a student and I couldn't even imagine overtaking a Taco Bell." Protestor Oliver Chen replies, "Ask most of us here a couple of months ago, and we would have probably said the same.

"But one day you realize that if you aren't willing to stand up for your country now, there might never be another chance. That's a pretty sobering thought."