Baton-wielding riot police cleared Taiwan's Cabinet offices of angry protesters opposed to a trade pact with China as tensions escalated over the island's ties with the communist mainland.

Authorities said they arrested 58 protesters and 137 were injured, including 24 who had to be taken to hospital. The crackdown came five days after students occupied the nearby legislature to protest against the ruling party's decision to renege on a promised review of the trade agreement.

China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949 and Beijing has long sought to reassert its control over the island.

March 19, 2014: Students occupy the Taiwanese parliament building to protest against the ruling Kuomintang party ratifying a controversial trade agreement with China
March 19, 2014: Students occupy the Taiwanese parliament building to protest against the ruling Kuomintang party ratifying a controversial trade agreement with ChinaGetty
March 20, 2014: Students barricade the doors to prevent the police from coming in
March 20, 2014: Students barricade the doors to prevent the police from coming inGetty
March 23, 2014: Student protesters occupy Taiwan's legislature and executive yuan, a branch of government in charge of administrative affairs
March 23, 2014: Student protesters occupy Taiwan's legislature and executive yuan, a branch of government in charge of administrative affairsGetty
March 23, 2014: Police talk to student protesters inside the executive yuan
March 23, 2014: Police talk to student protesters inside the executive yuanGetty
March 23, 2014: Student protesters pull down fences outside the executive yuan
March 23, 2014: Student protesters pull down fences outside the executive yuanGetty
March 24, 2014: Chaotic scenes as riot police begin to remove students from Executive Yuan Plaza
March 24, 2014: Chaotic scenes as riot police begin to remove students from Executive Yuan PlazaGetty
March 23, 2014: A riot policeman vomits after clashing with student protesters
March 23, 2014: A riot policeman vomits after clashing with student protestersGetty
March 24, 2014: Riot police wade into a crowd of students protesting outside the executive yuan
March 24, 2014: Riot police wade into a crowd of students protesting outside the executive yuanGetty
March 24, 2014: Riot police clash with student protesters outside the executive yuan
March 24, 2014: Riot police clash with student protesters outside the executive yuanGetty
March 24, 2014: Police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a protest against a trade pact with mainland China
March 24, 2014: Police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a protest against a trade pact with mainland ChinaReuters
March 24, 2014: Student protesterssoaked by police water cannon
March 24, 2014: Student protesterssoaked by police water cannonGetty
March 24, 2014: Students protesters barricade the stairs that lead to the legislature hall of parliament
March 24, 2014: Students protesters barricade the stairs that lead to the legislature hall of parliamentGetty
March 25, 2014: Anti-media Post-its are pasted on a van of a pro-government TV station
March 25, 2014: Anti-media Post-its are pasted on a van of a pro-government TV stationGetty