China's Reaction to Taiwan Protests? Eh.

In the two weeks since student protesters seized Taiwan’s national legislative chamber to condemn a trade agreement with the mainland, Chinese state media have been strikingly calm. 
Protesters inside Taiwan's legislative chamber as the occupation enters its 14th day in Taipei. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei via Bloomberg

Once, if more than 100,000 people had marched through Taipei to oppose closer links between Taiwan and Mainland China, Beijing's response would have been predictable: an angry, high-level reminder that time was running out for Taiwan to rejoin the motherland peacefully. Ten years ago, Taiwan's then-president Chen Shui-bian -- who had a particular talent for infuriating Chinese leaders with his pro-independence views -- drew a nasty rocket from his mainland counterpart Jiang Zemin. China's president told a People's Liberation Army conference that Taiwan's status had to be resolved by 2020, adding that China's military was perfectly capable of squashing Taiwan's then-resurgent pro-independence movement.

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