Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Independence poll shows widening gap

YOUNG VERSUS OLD:Nearly 60 percent of those 30 or younger said that they choose independence, while older groups backed the ‘status quo’ at a similar rate

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Nearly 60 percent of young Taiwanese support independence as national identity is becoming increasingly divided along generational lines, a survey released yesterday by the Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine (天下雜誌) showed.

Taiwanese are the most divided they have ever been over the issue of independence and national identity, the survey said.

Among respondents aged 30 or younger, nearly 60 percent said they choose independence, while more than 60 percent of those aged 40 or older said they preferred maintaining the “status quo,” the survey said.

Overall, those who favored keeping the “status quo” remained in the majority, although those who support unification with China dropped to 5.5 percent, the lowest proportion since the magazine began the surveys in 2002.

Among those in their 20s, 58.5 percent said they support Taiwanese independence, the survey said.

Asked which name better represents the nation, most of those aged 40 or older said “the Republic of China,” while the majority of those in their 20s and 30s prefered “Taiwan.”

Asked if they identify themselves as Taiwanese, Chinese or both, 61.9 percent said Taiwanese, 28. 3 percent said both and 6.5 percent said Chinese.

The results were similar in the other age brackets, except for respondents in their 20s, among whom 82.4 percent self-identified as Taiwanese, the survey showed.

Across generations, the only consensus appeared to be a shared opposition to Beijing’s “one country, two systems” proposal, the survey showed. Ninety percent of respondents said that “one country, two systems” cannot apply to Taiwan, while 2.8 percent said that it can.

The survey showed that Taiwanese have become more concerned about living in China.

Asked whether they would be willing to work in China, 28.8 percent of respondents said yes, compared with 40.3 percent in a similar survey earlier this year, while 58.6 percent said that they would not work there.

Regarding education across the Taiwan Strait, 67.8 percent said they would not let their children study in China, while 25 percent said they would, the survey showed.

Asked if they think a peace agreement with China would protect Taiwan, 63.4 percent said no, while 23.1 percent said yes, it showed.

The survey collected 1,073 valid samples via telephone interviews from Nov. 21 to Nov. 24. It has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points. The result was weighted to fit a Taiwanese population profile.

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