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30 years after martial law, Taiwan strikes democratic path

Respect for civil liberties, diversity present sharp contrast with mainland

The Taipei city government held a celebration June 25 at Taipei Main Station to mark the end of Ramadan.

TAIPEI -- In the 30 years since the end of its nearly four decades of martial law, Taiwan has taken a very different road from mainland China, creating a society built on democracy and diversity. Yet as Beijing turns up the pressure on the island to return to the fold, it remains to be seen how long Taipei can maintain its individuality.

A sea of people, many donning brightly colored hijabs, gathered June 25 at Taipei Main Station for an event held by the city government to celebrate the end of Ramadan, a holy month in Islam marked by fasting and prayer. More than 40,000 Indonesian migrant workers and others attended the festivities, one of 15 such events held by governments across the island.

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