Taiwan military veterans clash with police in pension protest
Taipei: Protesters including senior military veterans pushed down a gate to Taiwan's parliament building on Tuesday and clashed with police as they tried to storm in over pension cutbacks.
One former colonel was in a critical condition in hospital after attempting to climb a wall and falling.
The protests were sparked by government plans to reform the military pension system, part of a wider pension cutbacks programme which triggered mass protests last year.
Legislators passed a pension reform bill last June, cutting civil servants' generous pension packages as the government warned it could no longer pay out on the high-interest deals.
A separate bill targeting military pensions is expected to be discussed in the current parliament session. The backlash over the cuts is a major challenge for President Tsai Ing-wen, who has seen her popularity rating fall since her election two years ago.
Dozens of protesters Tuesday pushed down a gate to the parliament compound in downtown Taipei as police attempted to stop them from rushing in.
Retired general Wu Sz-huai fainted in the skirmish while former colonel Miao Te-sheng was seriously injured.
Video footage showed a police officer trying to break Miao's fall as he slipped from the second storey of a building, landing on his back.
"We have spent more than a year protesting on the streets. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has completely ignored us, our petitions and protests," one protester said in a video posted on the organising group's Facebook page.