Taiwan sentenced five students who entered the Ministry of Education last year to protest the school curriculum seen as favorable to Beijing.
Students are part of a group of demonstrators protesting curriculum changes that favor said the version of China on the island’s history.
The new curriculum – introduced by the Government of Kuomintang, near Beijing, which at the time was in power – generated a wave of protests and even the suicide of an activist, reflecting rising concerns about the increasing influence of China in Taiwan.
Taiwan is self-governed since the separation from mainland China in 1949 after the civil war, despite never having been formally declared independence and China still face the island as part of its territory.
Five students were charged with obstruction of justice and coercion after allegedly having engaged in clashes with the security guards.
Four today received probation and 120 hours of community work. The penalties of 30 to 40 days were suspended for two years.
The fifth student was also found guilty but received no penalty for being less involved and shown remorse, added the court.
One student said he would appeal.
The court statement indicates that students received suspended sentences because of their age. “They did not think things through,” can be read.
The new ruling party in Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party, skeptical of Beijing, canceled the curricular changes less than two weeks after taking office.
Relations with China chilled so that the Democratic Progressive Party Tsai Ing-wen won elections in January.