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September 25, 2017

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Students to end occupation Thursday

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The students occupying the Legislative Yuan will be leaving this coming Thursday and the movement will be switching from "defense to attack," student activist leaders Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) and Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) announced last night.

The movement members will be clearing out from the Legislature at 6 p.m. on Thursday, the date having been chosen because the students wished to clear the Assembly Hall for the legislative session to be held on Friday, said Lin.

After three weeks of demonstrations against the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement that began when the students' sit-in protest roared into a siege of the Legislature, Chen expressed his gratitude for the demonstrators' support and began the press conference by remarking that what had started out as a student movement has now developed into a citizen's movement.

"I am sure everyone has his own expectation of the movement. This is a time when the nation's youth are about to leave school and enter society … we have shown people that Taiwan should not be restricted to the ways and manners of politicians and political ways of the past," said Chen, who recounted the results the movement had managed to achieve in the past 21 days.

Students List Accomplishments

Among the student activists' four demands of the Ma administration, most were realized to a degree that the students seemed to find acceptable.

The students' first demand had called for a supervisory law to be passed in regard to all agreements signed with Beijing and for a citizen's version to be submitted to the Legislature, "which has been submitted and proposed to the Legislature," Chen announced. The Executive Yuan has also proposed its own version of the bill and the legislative committees will be reviewing the different drafts.

The second demand had been for the Legislature to pass the supervisory law before deliberating the cross-strait pact, which Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) promised on Sunday to pass before holding party negotiations concerning the trade pact itself.

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