Mon, Jun 18, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Singapore seen as favorite nation: poll

ADMIRED:The respondents have projected their desire for a more orderly and cleaner society in their answers, while the ‘Japan fever’ seems to have abated, an academic said

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation chairman You Ying-lung presents the results of the foundation’s latest survey, at a news conference in Taipei.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Taiwanese’s favorite nation is Singapore, followed by Japan and Canada, while China is their third-least favorite, a survey released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation found.

When asked about their impression of Singapore, 88.2 percent of the respondents said they have a good impression of the city-state, while 5.4 said they have a negative impression, the poll found.

The survey found that 84.6 percent of respondents have a favorable impression of Japan, while 11 percent have a negative impression of it.

As for Canada, 82.3 percent of respondents expressed a favorable impression, while 4.2 percent said they have a negative impression of it, the foundation said.

Respondents’ least favorite nation was North Korea, with 70.9 percent of respondents saying they have a negative impression of it, followed by the Philippines (52.9 percent) and China (43.9 percent).

However, Taiwanese’s impression of China has become more positive over the past year, the poll found.

For the first time, more Taiwanese said they have a good impression of China than those who said they have a bad impression of it, the foundation said.

Compared with a similar poll conducted last year, the percentage of respondents with a favorable impression of China rose from 44.4 to 48.8 percent, while the percentage of those with a negative impression of it fell from 47.4 to 43.9 percent, it said.

Nevertheless, 79.1 percent of respondents said China’s attempts to limit Taiwan’s international space are “unreasonable,” while 11.9 percent thought the opposite, the poll found.

When asked if they are confident that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration can defend the nation against such attempts, 32.7 percent said that they are confident, while 60.3 percent said they are not, the poll found.

The public’s views on other nations reflect their expectations for what they hope Taiwan can be, said Chen Yi-chien (陳宜倩), a professor at Shih Hsin University’s Graduate Institute for Gender Studies.

“Taiwanese like Singapore, because they have projected onto the nation their desire for a cleaner and more orderly society,” she said.

While Japan is still the most popular destination for Taiwanese tourists, the “Japan fever,” which swept the nation in the 1990s, has apparently calmed down in the past few years, said Chuang Chia-yin (莊佳穎), an associate professor at National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature.

In addition to South Korea, China is becoming an important source of culture, entertainment and consumer goods for Taiwan, as more Taiwanese are exposed to Chinese TV shows, such as the Voice of China (中國好聲音), she said, adding that this might have improved the public’s impression of that nation.

The telephone poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday last week, collected 1,073 valid responses selected by random sampling. It has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points and a confidence level of 95 percent.

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