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.