TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Six months after the hotly contested signing of a controversial cross-strait trade pact, Taiwan may be beginning to accept talks with China as business as usual.
Only a few dozen desultory protesters could be seen waving signs around in the bitter winter air in Taipei during the latest round of cross-strait negotiations last month. Police officers assigned to preserve the peace appeared more relaxed than during past talks, perhaps confident they wouldn't need to exert themselves pulling apart mobs around Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin's hotel.
Flash back to June 2010, in the sweltering last few weeks leading up to the signing of the China-Taiwan Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets during that time to oppose the pact, which grants preferential tariff treatment to various exports items between the two sides while establishing a basis for future consultations.