A public opinion poll released yesterday showed that most people support fair trade and cross-strait trade liberalization, but lack confidence in the capability of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to safeguard Taiwanese interests in its engagement with China.
The survey, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR), asked respondents about their views on a recently signed service trade pact between Taiwan and China. It found that 58.7 of respondents supported Taiwan’s pursuit of economic partnership agreements in general; only 16.5 percent did not support the move and 24.8 percent declined to answer.
However, opinions were divided on cross-strait economic relations, with 43.3 percent of respondents saying they believed Ma’s push for cross-strait trade liberalization would improve Taiwan’s competitiveness, while 34.3 percent said the president’s policy would increase the nation’s economic dependence on China.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
The survey also found that 42.7 percent of respondents thought the service trade agreement was unnecessary — almost 10 percentage points higher than the 32.6 percent who supported the pact — while 24.7 percent said they had no opinion.
A further breakdown of the poll data showed how opinions were divided along political lines, with 57.9 percent of pan-blue supporters favoring the pact and 72.5 percent of pan-green supporters opposing the deal.
Opinions among those who identified themselves as independent voters were more balanced: 40.4 percent disapproved of the pact, against 27.2 percent who supported it.
Public confidence in the Ma administration’s ability was also low, with 62.3 percent of respondents saying they did not believe the government would be able to reduce the adverse impact of opening the domestic market to China and to safeguard local industries’ interests. Only 21.6 percent of respondents expressed their confidence in the government, while 16.1 percent gave no answer.
According to TISR, the percentage of respondents who said they were confident about the Ma administration’s capability to deal with the impact of cross-strait trade liberalization dropped by 9.1 percentage points compared with a poll conducted in 2009, when Taipei began negotiations with Beijing over the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
At the same time, the number of people who were doubtful of the government’s capability to deal with the issue increased by 13.1 percentage points, TISR said in a press release.
The survey also found that Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) approval rating of 17.7 percent was the lowest since he assumed the post in February, while Ma’s disapproval rating remained dismal at 70.7 percent.
The survey, conducted from July 24 to 26, collected 1,008 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit