To be young, Taiwanese and full of hope

To be young, Taiwanese and full of hope

TAIPEI -- With young Taiwanese becoming more politically aware, elections scheduled for January could transform the island.

Things began to change in March 2014, when student and other activists occupied the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan's parliament, to protest the island's rapid rapprochement with China.

One year on, and the increasing number of young people criticising President Ma Ying-jeou's stance on China is giving the ruling Kuomintang party a case of the jitters.

On the evening of March 18, some 1,000 young people gathered near the legislative chamber to protest Ma's pro-China policies. "Abolish the service trade pact (between Taiwan and China)," they chanted. "Protect democracy!" Some of the protesters threw into the building a large ball with the words "constitution reformation" written on it. The act was the protesters' way of telling the ruling party to start listening to public opinion.

The rally was held to mark the first anniversary of what has come to be known as the Sunflower Movement. The activists adopted the name because of how the plant follows the direction of the sun, a habit they saw as hopeful.

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