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Despite protests in Taiwan, trade deal with China likely to proceed

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Wally Santana/AP

(Read caption) Protesters against a Taiwan's trade pact with China occupy the entrance to the legislature with a sign denouncing the ruling Kuomintang or KMT party (Chinese Nationalist Party) in Taipei, Taiwan, April 2.

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Student protests in Taipei against a new services trade agreement with Beijing are getting lots of headlines this week.

But they aren’t likely to scuttle the deal.

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While President Ma Ying-jeou’s efforts to deepen ties between Taiwan and mainland China are contentious, the protests, including an occupation of the parliament, also highlight public discontent with his domestic policies and his governing style, says our correspondent on the ground in Taipei.

The protests stem from “an accumulation of frustrations about domestic issues, it’s not just China,” our correspondent notes. People feel “too many things are happening without the public review and public explanation that people want.”

The agreement itself, signed last July, would liberalize trade in services between Taiwan and China. That holds promise but also potential peril for smaller Taiwanese firms.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.