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Massive demonstration staged in Taipei amid pension reform discussions

(Xinhua)    09:50, September 04, 2016

People gather in downtown Taipei to call for respect of their contribution to the island amid discussions of pension reform, September 3, 2016. [Photo from Weibo]

Groups of people, including retired military personnel, civil servants and public school teachers, gathered in downtown Taipei on Saturday afternoon to call for respect of their contribution to the island amid discussions of pension reform.

Protesters, including retired army generals and young teachers of public schools, said they took to the streets because they believed the reputation of public sector employees had been damaged by the discussions.

The police said an estimated 117,000 people took part in the demonstration, while the organizers said there were about 250,000 protesters on the streets.

The move marked the first massive demonstration since the island's current leader Tsai Ing-wen took office, according to local authorities.

The Action Alliance to Monitor Pension Reforms, which organized the event, said it supported the drive to reform pension system, but opposed the acts of using distorted figures or extreme cases to stir up conflicts among different groups in the society.

The union warned the future of the island would be gloomy if the current administration were not concentrated on shoring up the economy and improving people's livelihoods.

The massive protests followed several small demonstrations staged on the island by civil aviation workers, tour bus drivers and fishermen since May.

Pang Chien-kuo, a professor with Taipei-based Chinese Culture University said the demonstration on Saturday attracted so many participants because the current administration has not breathed new life into the island so far.

"People will continue to take to streets to vent their dissatisfaction if the economy does not grow in a decent speed and the future of the island remains bleak," Pang said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Kong Defang,Bianji)

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