Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - Page 1 News List

China benefiting more from improved ties: survey

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

More than half of Taiwanese feel closer cross-strait engagement and Taiwanese investment in China have benefited China more than Taiwan, a public opinion poll released yesterday found.

More than half, or 54.8 percent, of the respondents said China had received more benefits from increased bilateral engagement, while 18.4 percent said Taiwan was the beneficiary, 7.9 percent said the two sides benefited equally and 18.9 percent declined to comment, the Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) poll found.

“In comparison with a pair of similar polls that were conducted in 2004 and 2006, when the Democratic Progressive Party was in power, more Taiwanese see China getting the long end of the stick,” TISR general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said.

With regards to the impact of Taiwanese investment in China on Taiwan’s economy, 59.8 percent of respondents said it had not helped the economy, while 28.2 percent said it had been helpful and 12 percent declined to comment.

However, 49.9 percent of those who identified themselves as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters said they believed such cross-strait investment had been beneficial to Taiwan’s economy.

On the possibility of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), 49 percent of respondents said such a get-together would benefit China more.

That is more than twice the number — 20.1 percent — who said Taiwan would be the beneficiary.

With about 40 percent of Taiwan’s exports going to China and Hong Kong, 60.5 percent of respondents said Taiwan has become overly dependent on the Chinese economy.

Feelings about Ma’s pursuit of a service trade agreement with Beijing were mixed, with 42.1 percent of respondents saying the pact is unnecessary, 37.2 percent saying it is necessary and 20.7 percent declining to comment.

Asked whether the president should accelerate his efforts to promote closer engagement with Beijing before his term ends in 2016, 42.4 percent of respondents said no, while 37.4 percent said yes.

The survey also found Ma’s credibility rating has plunged to a new low — 17.1 percent.

The survey, conducted on Thursday and Friday last week, collected 1,003 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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