Taiwanese farmers protest land seizure plans

TAIPEI — Hundreds of angry Taiwanese farmers staged a protest in Taipei overnight, demanding the government abandon proposals that would make it easier for their land to be forcibly turned over to developers.

The protest, which began late on Saturday in front of the presidential office, drew around 2,000 farmers, backed by student groups and academics.

“The government is like the communists… stealing people’s property,” said Liu Li-lan, the head of one farmers group.

She said around 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) of farmland on the island could be expropriated by local governments if the changes, which have been before parliament since last year, are adopted.

The demonstrators warned that Taiwan’s ability to produce its own food would further decline if the government goes ahead with the changes.

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