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Anti-government protesters dog Taiwan National Day

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October 9, 2013 11:20 PM EST | AP


TAIPEI, Taiwan — TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Thousands of anti-government protesters have gathered on the fringes of Taiwan's carefully choreographed National Day celebrations, waving banners and chanting slogans denouncing the policies of President Ma Ying-jeou.

Thursday's celebrations marked the 102nd anniversary of an uprising on the Chinese mainland that led to the collapse of the nation's imperial system. The Republic of China — Taiwan's official name — retreated to the island in 1949 when Mao Zedong's Communists took power in Beijing.

Police kept an estimated 10,000 protesters well away from the downtown Taipei plaza where Ma delivered an address calling for Taiwan to improve its economic performance.

The demonstrators demanded that the president step down over alleged judicial abuses and denounced his support for closer ties with China and the construction of a new nuclear power plant.