A week ago a bunch of Taiwanese students with no connection to any of the established local political parties surprised everyone by bursting into the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwanese Parliament, and barricading themselves in. They're still there. Emboldened by this coup – I mean coup in the colloquial sense of the word - they tried to top it over the weekend by occupying the presidential offices, from which they were promptly evicted. They're now hunkered back down in the parliament, supported by several thousand people on the surrounding streets.
The proximate cause of the occupation is an agreement on trade in services that the KMT government of Ma Ying-jeou decided to hustle through the legislature. There are complaints on the Taiwanese side that this will actually weaken the local economy. But what the students are really occupying here is the Giant Sucking Sound from the mainland, which has got ever louder since the Ma administration was first elected and began signing an accelerating round of trade agreements with the PRC.
In fairness to Ma, this is more or less what he was elected to do. However, Taiwanese politics is at least partly a kind of balancing act between trying not to do anything too provocative on the one hand and trying to preserve the island's autonomy on the other. The student protest may indicate that the latest agreement is a deal too far. Most polls say that the public is broadly supportive of the points the students are making, which is not the same thing as the level of support for the occupation itself. While their action was audaciously conceived and brilliantly executed, the students don't seem to have sufficient numbers of people ready to come out on the streets to support them to change the mind of the administration, which remains intransigent. There is a possibility that it might become a longer term inflection point in overall Taiwanese politics, though that may depend on how the occupation eventually ends or is ended.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong is supportive. The mainland – where the treaty is considered a kind of disguised subsidy to Taiwan - very much less so, including political tendencies normally supportive of Taiwanese democracy. Beijing's information managers are comparatively relaxed about coverage.