President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating dropped 4.2 percentage points from last month to 31.7 percent, her second-lowest in a Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation poll so far, indicating that her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has lost a large number of supporters, the foundation said yesterday.
The poll found that approval for Tsai was only slightly higher than her rating of 29.8 percent in August last year, while her disapproval rating rose by 0.1 percentage points from last month to 46.7 percent.
Disapproval of Tsai exceeded 50 percent among respondents aged between 25 and 54, and her approval rating was less than 30 percent among that group, foundation chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“It signals a dangerous implication when young and middle-aged groups become Tsai’s main opponents,” You said.
However, 47.1 percent of respondents approved of Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) performance, while 36.3 percent were dissatisfied.
The foundation said 59.9 percent of respondents were not satisfied with Tsai’s economic performance and only 30.6 were satisfied, a new low for her in the foundation’s polls.
Although most economic indicators have shown signs of progress since last year, 41.5 percent of the respondents still believed that the economy took a downturn last year, 13.1 percent said it was picking up and 39.6 percent said there was not much difference from previous years, You said.
While 30.6 percent of respondents said they expected the economy to slow this year, 24.4 percent said they expected it to improve and 33.1 percent said it would not change.
Asked about their personal financial situation last year, 62.2 percent of respondents said it had not changed, 13 percent said it had improved and 23 percent said they were worse off.
As for other issues, while 39.8 percent of respondents supported the Civil Aeronautics Administration’s decision to hold off approving applications for additional Lunar New Year holiday flights by China Eastern Airlines Corp (中國東方航空) and by XiamenAir (廈門航空) to counter Beijing’s unilateral activation of the northbound M503 flight route, 43.8 percent opposed the decision.
Asked about Tsai’s handling of cross-strait relations, 59.6 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied, while 30.8 percent were satisfied.
The president’s approach to Beijing was too hardline according to 23.3 percent of the respondents, while 30.3 percent said it was appropriate and 29.8 percent said it was too weak.
The survey results show that the public is disappointed with the economy, and the DPP should outline a broader vision of economic development and cross-strait relations, former DPP legislator Chien Hsi-chieh (簡錫堦) said.
Of the respondents, 28 percent said they identified with the DPP and 24 percent with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), while 43.4 percent said they were neutral.
The percentage of people identifying with the DPP was as high as 51.9 percent in June 2016, but the latest poll showed it had fallen to its second-lowest point since Tsai took office.
The survey was conducted between Sunday and Tuesday last week. A total of 1,074 valid samples were collected and the poll has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
‘IRRATIONAL ACTS’: The defense ministry condemned the drills, during which China tested successors to missiles deployed during the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995 and 1996 China yesterday fired several Dongfeng ballistic missiles as it began four days of unprecedented military drills off Taiwan proper following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei the previous day. On Tuesday, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said Beijing would “take all necessary measures” in retaliation should Pelosi visit Taiwan during her Asia tour. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from 1:56pm to 4pm fired 11 Dongfeng missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan proper, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. Taiwanese armed forces, using “forward warning and surveillance mechanisms,” monitored the missile tests
ANNEXATION PLANS: Remarks by the Chinese ambassador to France showed that Beijing seeks to normalize genocide, re-education and gulags, a US official said European and US officials condemned comments from Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye (盧沙野), after he on Wednesday said that Taiwanese would be “re-educated” after any annexation by China. In an interview on French television, Lu accused the Democratic Progressive Party of “extremist” propaganda and turning Taiwanese against “reunification” with China. “We will re-educate. I’m sure that the Taiwanese population will again become favorable of the reunification and will become patriots again,” Lu told BFM TV. The term “re-education” has been used to describe Chinese authorities’ treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defense Chairwoman
‘SIMULATED ATTACKS’: Ten warships each from China and Taiwan were maneuvering at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait, with some Chinese vessels crossing the median line Taiwan yesterday reiterated that it would not succumb to pressure from Beijing after China carried out its most provocative military drills in decades in retaliation for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last week. “We will never bow to pressure. We uphold freedom and democracy, and believe Taiwanese disapprove [of] China’s bullying actions with force and saber rattling at our door,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. China had “arrogantly” disrupted regional peace and stability, he said, calling on Beijing to not flex its military muscles. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has also called on the international community to “support