Scuffles erupt over Taiwan-China trade pact

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Associated Press

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 1:04 AM

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Dozens of Taiwanese have scuffled with police during a demonstration against a new trade agreement with China.

Wednesday's protest outside the island's legislature was the rowdiest yet in the demonstrators' campaign against the pact. The agreement signed last month allows each side to invest in the other's service sectors, including banking. Its approval by Taiwan's legislature is considered to be a foregone conclusion.

Some demonstrators breached a police line and climbed over the fence of the legislative building. They briefly protested inside the compound before being dispersed.

The demonstrators believe the pact will increase Taiwan's dependence on the mainland and marginalize smaller Taiwanese companies.

The government says the pact will strengthen the local economy.

Taiwan and the mainland split amid civil war in 1949.

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