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Tea Leaves

China's heavy shadow divides Taiwanese voters

'Han mania' raises prospect of Beijing's KMT allies retaking control

The flags of China and Taiwan fly next to each other at a pro-unification demonstration in Taipei's Ximending neighborhood.

On the last Sunday of April, Taipei's Ximending neighborhood was buzzing with throngs of tourists, shoppers and locals. As they made their way through the main intersection, many were distracted by a public demonstration occupying a street corner.

"Oppose Taiwanese independence!" an older man screamed into a microphone in the center of a cordoned-off group of tents, while two dozen or so people applauded from plastic stools. One man walking by clapped as well.

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