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.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the
‘FIGHT FOR VICTORY’: Eric Chu said his election victory would be the beginning of the DPP’s worries and that he would open all channels of communication with China Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was yesterday elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in a four-way race that included outgoing chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣). Chu, 60, garnered 85,164 votes, or 45 percent of the 187,998 KMT members who cast ballots. Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) trailed behind with 60,632 votes, followed by Chiang with 35,090 votes and former Changhua County commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) with 5,133 votes. Voter turnout was 50.71 percent. This will be Chu’s second time heading the party. He was elected KMT chairman in an unopposed by-election in January 2015 and resigned in January