Activism, Art & Culture, Asian International Affairs, Current Events, Notable Taiwan Guest, Podcast, Politics, Self-Empowerment, Sunflower Movement, Taiwan, Taiwan Community, Taiwan History, Taiwan Independence, Taiwan Life, Taiwan News, Taiwan Organizations, Taiwan vs China

Reliving the Sunflower Movement from Ground Zero: Jiho Chang Tells the Inside Story Ep 174

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

Jiho Chang tells us the inside story first hand by reliving the Sunflower Movement from Ground Zero.

March 18th will mark the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Sunflower Movement during which time activists occupied Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan in order to protest the passing of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, which was a treaty between Taiwan and China. The roots of the Sunflower Movement go back much further, years before 2014. My guest on this episode of Talking Taiwan, Jiho Chang, shares his perspectives on the Sunflower Movement as he looks back upon it, and talks about his involvement with the movement.

Jiho has been a guest on Talking Taiwan previously, talking about his work as Keelung City Councilman (episode 149), and remembering the late revolutionary Su Beng (史明) (episode 156).

This episode of Talking Taiwan has been sponsored by the Taiwan Elite Alliance 優社 and the Taiwanese United Fund.

The Taiwan Elite Alliance 優社 was established in 2000 to promote Taiwanese and Taiwanese American arts and literature, and to protect and enhance the human rights, freedom and democracy of the people in Taiwan.



The Taiwanese United Fund is an arts and culture foundation that celebrates the cultural heritages of Taiwanese Americans. Established in 1986, the foundation’s mission is to facilitate cultural exchange between the Taiwanese American community and other American cultural communities, hoping to enrich and expand our cultural experiences. To learn more about TUF visit their website 


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • Why the Sunflower Movement happened in Taiwan
  • How the Sunflower Movement had roots in protests that started in 2008
  • How former President Ma Ying-jeou tried to “re-sinicize” many things in Taiwan
  • Jiho’s involvement with the Sunflower Movement
  • How there had been an attempt to occupy the Ministry of the Interior a year before the Sunflower Movement in 2014
  • The power struggle between former President Ma Ying-jeou and Speaker of the Legislative Yuan, Wang Jing-ping at the time of the Sunflower Movement
  • Factions between the Kuomintang
  • Jiho’s account of what happened the night activists broke into the Legislative Yuan
  • How the length of the occupation was unexpected
  • The public support for the movement, with crowds of people surrounding the Legislative Yuan for the duration of the occupation
  • How Jiho has to testify in court about the attempted occupation of the Executive Yuan
  • How there was a livestream of what was happening inside of the Legislative Yuan during the occupation
  • How nothing was planned but people (such as doctors and other professionals) stepped up
  • The documentary about the Sunflower Movement that featured Jiho and his colleagues
  • How the Sunflower Movement has affected Taiwan’s political landscape and directions
  • The conditions inside of the Legislative Yuan during the occupation
  • There were 500-600 people occupying the Legislative Yuan
  • How another headquarters of operations was set up at a NTU (National Taiwan University) social sciences building nearby
  • The attempt at occupying the Executive Yuan on March 28, 2014
  • The end of the occupation of the Legislative Yuan
  • March 30th rally in Taipei in which hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in support of the Sunflower Movement
  • Rallies organized globally on March 30th in support of the Sunflower Movement
  • Hong Kong’s protests (in 2014 aka the Umbrella Movement and 2019-2020)
  • In the end as a result of the Sunflower Movement the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement was not approved and many young activists went on to serve in politics


Related Links:


Sunflower Movement:


Democracy at 4am:


The documentary about the Sunflower Movement in which Jiho appears:


Jiho Chang’s Facebook page:


Ministry of the Interior:


Legislative Yuan:


Ma Ying-jeou:


Wang Jing-ping:


Kuomintang (KMT):


Chen Shui-bian:


Democratic Progressive Party (DPP):


President Tsai Ing-wen:


President Tsai Ing-wen on Twitter:


Executive Yuan:


Eric Chang on the Occupation of the Executive Yuan During the Sunflower Movement (Episode 121):


NTU (National Taiwan University):


Ketagalan Media’s coverage of the Sunflower Movement:


Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’ Goes Global (an article from the Diplomat):


TRADE PACT SIEGE: Rallies held across globe for Sunflower movement (an article from the Taipei Times):


Hong Kong’s protests aka the Umbrella Movement:



Hong Kong protests: What is the ‘Umbrella Movement’? (an article from the BBC):


2019–2020 Hong Kong protests:’s list of resources and rallies that took place worldwide in support of the Sunflower Movement and to protect Taiwan’s democracy:


Interview: Jiho Chang (2017):

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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