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May 28, 2017

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Anti-service trade pact demonstration draws 500 in Hong Kong

HONG KONG -- Some 500 people attended a protest march in Hong Kong Sunday against a controversial cross-Taiwan Strait trade-in-services agreement.

The parade was initiated by Taiwanese students studying in Hong Kong and local students supporting the Taiwanese students opposed to the trade pact, with participants walking from Causeway Bay to Chater Garden in Central District.

The demonstration, which the organizers said was held in support of a mass protest that same day in Taipei, also attracted some local politicians.

The organizers — the Guarding Taiwan Youth Front and the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) — said in a statement that it hopes the public will join in the effort to defend Taiwan's democracy and support Hong Kong's pursuit of democracy. The statement expressed hope that the demonstration will connect those Taiwanese and Hong Kong people who firmly uphold democracy.

Meanwhile, Commercial Radio Hong Kong reported that around 10 people standing on an overpass at Causeway Bay gave a thumbs-down to the protesters when they passed by.

In Taiwan, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in downtown Taipei around the Presidential Office and the Legislative Yuan that day to express their opposition to the service trade accord with China, which was signed in June last year but has since been stalled in the Legislature.

Some of its opponents demand that the pact be scrapped, while others demand that the Legislature suspend its review of the accord until new legislation is enacted that would subject any agreements with China to closer scrutiny by lawmakers.

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