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Taiwan's Beef Protest Shakes Ruling Party Updated: 2012-03-09 00:00:00 KST

Thousands of Taiwanese farmers took to the streets Thursday, staging the nation's biggest demonstration in years against the goverment's plan to allow U.S. beef imports.
Local farmers, along with members of Taiwan's main opposition party, are demanding the government to say NO to Washington, claiming U.S. beef contains a harmful growth drug which can eventually negatively affect local citizens' consumption of other meat products in the country.
This puts newly re-elected President Ma Ying-jeou at a difficult spot, as he seeks to strengthen economic ties with the U.S.
Allowing U.S. beef imports is critical in forging a trade framework with Washington, which could lead to the ratification of a Free Trade Agreement.
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