The latest telephone survey conducted by National Chengchi University from March 30 to April 2 and released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) shows that about 8 percent of respondents supported “maintaining the status quo and seeking unification at a later date” and 1.5 percent supported “unification at the earliest possible opportunity.”
In other words, less than 10 percent of respondents supported unification with China, suggesting that more than 90 percent of Taiwanese do not support unification.
The poll also found that nearly 30 percent of respondents said the “status quo” should be maintained in perpetuity, an increase on previous polls. In addition, 32.4 percent of respondents said that the “status quo” should be maintained with any decision on unification left to the future — the lowest level of support for that option since the poll was first commissioned by the council, suggesting that people have a clearer idea about relations with China.
The poll was conducted after former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh--hsiung (吳伯雄) visited Beijing and proposed the “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” concept during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).
The council occasionally conducts polls on the issues of unification and independence, which gives respondents a number of options to choose from: “maintaining the status quo and making a decision later,” -“maintaining the status quo in perpetuity,” “maintaining the status quo and declaring independence later,” “maintaining the status quo and seeking unification at a later date,” “declaring independence as soon as possible” and “seeking unification at the earliest possible opportunity.”
The poll is intended as a reference point on public opinion toward the issue of independence and unification.
In the latest poll, 32.4 percent of respondents supported “maintaining the status quo and making a decision later,” 29.9 percent chose “maintaining the status quo in perpetuity,” 15.7 percent believed that Taiwan should “maintain the -status quo and declare independence later,” 8.2 percent favored “maintaining the status quo and seeking unification at a later date” and 6.1 percent wanted to declare independence as soon as possible, while only 1.5 percent wanted to seek unification at the earliest possible opportunity.
As for the pace of cross-strait exchanges, the poll showed that 45 percent of Taiwanese think they are just right, while 32.6 percent think they are developing too quickly.
Compared with the previous poll in which 48.1 percent believed they were just right and 25.7 percent said they were too fast, the results of the latest poll suggested that Taiwanese are worrying more about the pace of cross-strait exchanges.
Although Beijing has granted economic favors to Taiwan since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008, 49.7 percent of respondents said that the Chinese government has behaved in an unfriendly way toward the Taiwanese government, while 33 percent believe that Beijing has been friendly.
On the other hand, 45.7 percent of respondents said that the Chinese government was unfriendly to Taiwanese, while 38.5 percent said Beijing was friendly.
The survey had 1,079 samples with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points.