Sat, Jan 21, 2006 - Page 1 News List

To most ordinary foreigners, Taiwan is a country

GALLUP SURVEY Forget about politicians, think tanks, commentators and other pundits; the average person in the US, Japan and Europe likes Taiwan the way it is

DPA , NEW YORK

People surveyed in the US, Japan, Britain, France and Germany consider China and Taiwan to be two separate and sovereign countries, contrary to China's claims, a Gallup poll said on Thursday.

The survey of 1,500 respondents in each of the five countries showed that 81 percent of Britons and nearly three-quarters of Americans and Japanese view the two countries as separate and sovereign.

Seventy-two percent of German respondents and 66 percent of French respondents held the same view.

Last March, Beijing adopted an "Anti-Secession" Law that legalizes the invasion of Taiwan in the event that Taipei declares or even moves toward a formal state of independence.

Gallup said separate samples of so-called "opinion leaders" in each of the five countries showed a majority of six in 10 respondents viewing China and Taiwan as separate states.

The poll said eight in 10 of the people surveyed in each of the five countries spoke against the Anti-Secession Law, and that China faces global condemnation if it opts for military action against Taiwan.

A majority of respondents in Britain, Japan, Germany and France favor diplomacy over military action in defending Taiwan in a war with China.

In the US, 42 percent favored defending Taiwan through diplomatic means only, while 23 percent favored both diplomacy and military means

Twenty-six percent of Americans preferred to do nothing.

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