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May 29, 2017

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Around 1,000 occupy Liberty Square in protest of media monopolization

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An estimated 1,000 university students spent their New Year's Eve at the Liberty Square to protest what they considered to be Want Want China Times' monopolization of Taiwan media, Youth Alliance against Media Monsters (YAMM, 反媒體巨獸青年聯盟) announced yesterday.

According to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesman Wang Min-sheng, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang arrived at the protest to show his support and his hope that President Ma Ying-jeou will resolve the issue.

The YAMM launched the event to stay overnight at the Liberty Square at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to represent their appeals against media monopolization. Around 4,000 people expressed their desires to participate this event on the YAMM's Facebook page.

Want Want's purchases of China Network Systems (CNS) and Next Media have triggered a heated debate. Many DPP members, university professors and students argued the acquisition could lead to media monopolization, thereby endangering press freedom.

According to Wang, Su said that if President Ma had solved the issue, these students would not have had to stay overnight in the cold weather. A nation's leader should be able to stop a consortium from developing a media monopoly, Su said.

The event convener, Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), chairman of National Taiwan University's Graduate Student Association, said "no matter what the weather is like, students would not back up."

The YAMM said Want Want's purchase of CNS and Next Media will hugely influence Taiwan's democratic system and freedom of speech. They added that the purchase involved public interests and national security, but the government did not respond to the involvement of Chinese capital and media monopoly.

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