While the majority of Taiwanese support economic liberalization as an essential development, most are still doubtful about deepening economic interaction with China, a poll conducted by the Grassroots Influence Foundation showed.
According to the results released by the foundation yesterday, as many as 75.89 percent of respondents support further economic liberalization and globalization, while 51.22 percent said that they understand the proposed cross-strait service trade agreement to some extent.
However, when asked about their attitudes on the cross-strait service trade agreement, as many as 51.33 percent of those who support economic liberalization said they are opposed to the pact, while 87.5 percent of those opposing economic liberalization were against it.
Meanwhile, about 53 percent of those who said they understand the service trade agreement are opposed to it.
“Looking at the figures, the majority of people believe that, in the age of globalization, Taiwan must open up economically. However, the public is also worried about our increasing economic dependence on China,” Kao Charng (高長), chairman of National Dong Hwa University’s Department of Public Administration, who has also served as Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister, told a press conference in Taipei.
“Inking the cross-strait service trade agreement means further liberalization and deepening of cross-strait economic exchanges, and it is making the public worried about the risks of increasing dependence on China,” Kao said.
This is an issue that the government needs to deal with carefully when developing cross-strait relations, he added.
Taiwan Institute of Economic Research president Hung Te-sheng (洪德生) agreed with Kao.
“Public resentment only happens when we sign trade agreements with China; there have never been any major problems when we sign agreements with other countries,” Hung said. “I would recommend that the government thinks about this issue.”
He said that Taiwanese businesses are very competitive, “but it will not bring more benefits if we do not open up, sell our products to the world and globalize.”
The poll was conducted between May 12 and June 5 with 1,099 valid samples of randomly selected people aged 20 and above.
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