In Search of Democracy: Contemporary Social Movements in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan: Taiwan


Taiwan Sunflower Student Movement (太陽花學運) Mar 18, 2014 – Apr 10, 2014 

In June 2013, KMT, the ruling part of Taiwan at that time, signed the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) with the People’s Republic of China, which caused a large scale of protests from Mar 18 to Apr 10, 2014, from Taiwan. Students and civic groups protest against the trade pact with the People’s Republic of China because it would not only hurt Taiwan’s economy, but also put Taiwan under political pressure from Beijing. Protesters also questioned the democratic system of Taiwan and called for true democracy. People went on protests holding sunflowers which represented the symbol of hope in the dark period of democracy. These protests were known as Taiwan Sunflower Student Movement (太陽花學運) later and received great sympathy from young generations in East Asia. Students and activists in Taiwan also allied with other groups of protesters in Hong Kong and Japan. For example, in Japan, the demonstrations and protests, organized by SEALDs (short for Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy 自由と民主主義のための学生緊急行動) from 2015 to 2016 against the legislation to reinterpret Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution calling for true democracy, were strongly influenced by the Taiwan Sunflower Student Movement.