TAIPEI: Protesters including senior military veterans pushed down a gate to Taiwan’s parliament building on Tuesday and clashed with police as they tried to storm in over pension cutbacks. One former colonel was in a critical condition in hospital after attempting to climb a wall and falling. The protests were sparked by government plans to reform the military pension system, part of a wider pension cutbacks program which triggered mass protests last year. Legislators passed a pension reform bill last June, cutting civil servants’ generous pension packages as the government warned it could no longer pay out on the high-interest deals. A separate bill targeting military pensions is expected to be discussed in the current parliament session. The backlash over the cuts is a major challenge for President Tsai Ing-wen, who has seen her popularity rating fall since her election two years ago. The presidential office appealed to protesters to remain calm and said the government had taken account of veterans’ concerns in drafting reforms.