Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou said on Saturday evening that he agreed the clause-by-clause review and vote on a cross-Strait service trade pact but is against withdrawal of the agreement.
Also chairman of the ruling KMT, Ma said the withdrawal of the agreement on trade in services signed in June last year will hurt the local economy.
Thousands of people rallied in Taipei on Saturday, holding carnations as a symbol and shouting slogans to urge protesting students to cease their occupation of Taiwan's legislative building.
"Go home, children!" shouted nearly one thousand members of the public who gathered at a downtown square on Saturday afternoon to oppose the student-led protest that has grounded the legislative operation to a halt.
Hundreds of students broke into the legislative chamber on March 18 and have occupied the site ever since. They are protesting about what they see as undemocratic tactics used by the KMT to ratify a cross-Strait service trade pact and are worried about the effects on the local economy.
The carnation-themed rally means to make a different and rational voice heard, said Lee Hsin, Taipei city legislator and chief organizer of the rally.
It is time for the students to leave since the authority has agreed to a clause-by-clause review of the pact, Lee said.
Another crowd rallied near the legislative building, calling for social stability and opposing instigation of students out of political motives. The rally concluded by using their carnations to spell out the Chinese character for "home" on the ground.
Some families of the police also staged a demonstration outside the Taipei Train Station on Saturday afternoon.
A family representative surnamed Yang gave a speech calling for an end to the impasse, so the "husbands, fathers and sons" on duty could take a rest and unite with their families.