Thu, Oct 31, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese prefer independence over unification: survey

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Given the option independence or unification with China, a majority of Taiwanese prefer independence over unification, an opinion poll released yesterday showed.

Asked about their position on cross-strait relations, 66 percent of respondents supported the “status quo,” 24 percent wanted independence and 7 percent supported unification with China, according to the survey conducted by cable news channel TVBS between Thursday last week and Monday.

However, the poll found that most respondents favored independence over unification if they were asked to choose between just those two options, with 71 percent supporting independence and only 18 percent supporting unification with China.

With regards to identity, 78 percent of those polled identified themselves as Taiwanese, while 13 percent saw themselves as Chinese.

The respondents’ opinions on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) recent remarks on Double Ten National Day, when he claimed that “people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the Zonghua minzu” (中華民族), appeared to be split, with 44 percent agreeing with the description and 42 percent opposing it.

A further breakdown suggested that the respondents’ position followed their political affiliation, with 66 percent of those who identified themselves as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters saying that they disagreed with the comment and 67 percent of those supporting the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) backing Ma’s remark.

However, most people found that Ma’s other comment — that cross-strait relations are not international relations — was unacceptable, with 66 percent not supporting the assertion and 20 percent supportive.

The survey, conducted by the TVBS poll center, collected 1,075 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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