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PHOTOS: Taiwan's Sunflower Movement Protest Is Also Strikingly Beautiful

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Holding aloft sunflowers, over 100,000 thronged through the streets of Taiwan's capital Taipei on Sunday, accusing their government of ramming through a controversial trade deal with China.

The protests, dubbed the "sunflower movement," started two weeks ago when Taiwan's ruling party pushed the trade bill through the parliamentary review process without bipartisan discussion, the Wall Street Journal reports. Students stormed the parliament building and have occupied the main chamber for 14 days, fending off attempted police raids by piling entrances and exits with furniture.

Taiwan and China have been governed separately for over 60 years, but China still regards the island as part of its territory. Under Taiwanese President President Ma Ying-jeou ties between China and Taiwan have greatly improved, and the president insists that increasing trade with China is essential to maintain Taiwan's economic competitiveness. However, many in the country are deeply skeptical of China's influence while at the same time demanding greater transparency from their government.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Sunday's rally was a peaceful family affair, with baby strollers, chants from the Les Misérables musical, and dogs dressed up in the protesters' garb.

Thousands of sunflowers, brought to symbolize the protest movement, also made the occasion strikingly beautiful. Below are some of the best images from the colorful demonstration.

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Thousands of protesters rally on March 30, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

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Protesters hold signs as thousands of people rally on March 30, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

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Protesters distribute sunflowers during a protest in front of the presidential building in Taipei, Taiwan, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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Protesters hold flowers and shout slogans as thousands of people rally on March 30, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

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A protester (C) displays a facemask reading 'No trade pact' as thousands of people join an ongoing demonstration against a trade agreement with China, in front of the presidential palace in Taipei on March 30, 2014. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)

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A protester displays a placard during an ongoing demonstration against a trade agreement with China, in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei on March 30, 2014. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)

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Protesters shout slogans denouncing the controversial China Taiwan trade pact during a protest in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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Protesters shout slogans during a massive demonstration in front of the presidential building in Taipei, Taiwan, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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Protesters shout slogans during a protest in front of the presidential building in Taipei, Taiwan, March 30, 2014. The headband reads: "Against the trade pact." (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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Protesters swing their phones to show lights during a demonstration against a trade agreement with China, in front of the presidential palace in Taipei on March 30, 2014. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)

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Protesters wave mobile phones as thousands of people rally on March 30, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

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A protester holds a sunflower as thousands of people rally on March 30, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

CLARIFICATION: The language of this article has been changed to clarify the relationship between China and Taiwan since 1949.

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