The Republic of China, or Taiwan as it is better known, has been independent from mainland China for over half a century. However China claims the island as its territory and has a stated aim of re-unification.
Throughout March, protests gripped the streets of the capital Taipei in response to the manner a service trade agreement was being pushed through the congress. The trade agreement allows Chinese companies to invest in a host of Taiwanese industries, moving the country towards greater economic integration with China. It is seen by many as an act of commercial colonization by China and a threat to Taiwan's autonomy and democracy.
On March 18, a group of students overwhelmed police and occupied the Legislative Yuan (Taiwanese Parliament). Dubbed the Sunflower Movement they remained camped in the parliament for 24 days. One of their core demands is to hold off any further trade talks between Taiwan and China, until an oversight mechanism has been implemented.