Despite China’s repeated attempts to force Taiwan’s incoming administration to accept the idea that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to “one China,” a survey released yesterday showed that most people reject the construction.
The survey, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR) on Thursday and Friday last week, sought to gauge Taiwanese perception of the notion that “both sides of the Strait belong to one China,” which is backed by both the Taipei and Beijing constitutions.
Article 11 of the Additional Articles of the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution states: “Rights and obligations between the people of the Chinese mainland area and those of the free area [Taiwan], and the disposition of other related affairs may be specified by law.”
In the preface to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Constitution, Taiwan is listed as part of the “sacred territory” of the PRC.
Asked about their opinions on the statement that “one China” refers to the PRC, an overwhelming majority, or 81.6 percent, of respondents opposed the concept, with only 9.2 percent accepting the notion.
Even if “one China” refers to the ROC, 60 percent of those polled still disliked the idea that both sides belong to “one China,” but the percentage of people willing to embrace the notion rose to 28.8 percent.
Respondents who identified themselves as pan-blue supporters appeared to be divided on the issue, as 54.3 percent of them welcomed the concept of both sides belonging to the ROC, but 39 percent found it insupportable, the poll showed.
A majority of pan-green respondents, or 81.8 percent, were negative toward the assertion, compared with 14.2 percent who thought otherwise, the survey showed.
The results showed that the degree of people’s dislike of the idea that both sides of the Strait belong to one China is inversely proportional to their age, regardless of whether “one China” refers to the PRC or the ROC.
Of those polled, 75.8 percent equated abiding by the ROC Constitution to maintenance of the cross-strait “status quo,” while 14.1 percent disagreed.
Public consensus still seems to be lacking with regard to China’s repeated insistence on setting president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) acceptance of the so-called “1992 consensus” and the notion of both sides belonging to “one China” as a precondition for continued cross-strait government and economic exchanges.
About 38 percent of respondents believed Tsai should not acknowledge the “1992 consensus” under such a condition, while 33.4 percent urged the incoming president to do so, the poll showed. Nearly 29 percent declined to express their opinions.
In addition to political affiliation, age also appears to be a key factor in debates on the issue.
Respondents aged between 20 and 39 tended to aspire to see Tsai shrug off the “1992 consensus,” while those in the 40 to 59 age group generally believed she should welcome the consensus, the survey indicated.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Former Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Su Chi (蘇起) has admitted that he made up the term in 2000.
The telephone-based poll collected 1,000 valid samples from Taiwanese aged 20 or older.
In related news, the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday published a survey it conducted to gauge ideas of national identity, in which a record high of 73 percent of people identified themselves as Taiwanese.
“Over the past two decades, the percentage of people who identified themselves as Taiwanese has climbed from 44 percent in 1996 to 55 percent in 2006, then to a record-high 73 percent in our latest poll,” the newspaper said.
The proportion of people identifying as Chinese hit a record-low of 11 percent, down from 20 percent in 2006 and 31 percent in 1996, the United Daily News poll suggested.
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