TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Hundreds of protesters opposed to a far-reaching trade pact with China have invaded Taiwan’s Cabinet offices, marking a sharp escalation in a student-led movement against the island’s rapidly developing ties with the mainland.

Sunday’s Cabinet action came five days after mainly student protesters occupied the legislature after a ruling party lawmaker reneged on a promise to submit the pact to legislative review.

Protesters against a China Taiwan trade pact are clash with riot police clearing the government Cabinet buildings in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, March 24, 2014.

Since then, the protests have attracted tens of thousands of supporters to the area around the legislature, in the sternest test so far for President Ma Ying-jeou’s six-year effort to bring Taiwan’s economy ever closer to China’s.

Earlier Sunday, Ma said going back on the pact — aimed at opening the Chinese and Taiwanese service sectors to companies from the other side — would undermine Taiwan’s international credibility.

Subscribe to Asian Correspondent

Receive our weekly round-up of the most important stories in Asia

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.