Majority supports countermeasures against Chinese obstructionism: poll

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - Page 1

A majority of Taiwanese support the idea of the government adopting countermeasures against China’s mounting pressure on Taiwan, according to a poll released by the Cross Strait Policy Association yesterday.

The poll aimed to gauge the public’s response to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) interactions with Chinese officials at the 10th Straits Forum in Xiamen last week, association president Stephen Tan (譚耀南) told a news conference in Taipei.

During his meeting with Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) at the forum’s opening on Wednesday, KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) reiterated the so-called “1992 consensus” and his hope that both sides of the Taiwan Strait would “become one family.”

The 1992 consensus — a term that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

According to the poll, 52.4 percent of respondents did not agree with Hau’s statement that both sides of the Strait should become one family and 37.3 percent agreed, while 10.3 percent did not express an opinion.

Asked if Taiwan should accept the “1992 consensus” under Beijing’s “one China” principle, 52.2 percent of respondents said no and 34.8 percent said yes, while 13 percent did not express an opinion, the poll showed.

Asked if they support the idea of the government reacting to Chinese pressure, 63.6 percent of respondents said yes and 20.7 percent said no, while 15.7 percent did not express an opinion.

However, despite the majority backing a tougher stance against China, only 42.9 percent of respondents said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would be able to defend Taiwanese sovereignty, compared with 33.2 percent who favored the KMT and 23.9 percent who did not express an opinion, Taipei Medical University’s Center for General Education Deputy Dean Chang Kuo-cheng (張國城) said, adding that it is a warning for the DPP.

Asked whether Taiwan should boost relations with the US or China to “effectively maintain national sovereignty,” 54.2 percent favored the US and 24.6 percent said China, while 21.2 percent did not express an opinion.

DPP Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) told the news conference that the survey showed the KMT is drifting further away from mainstream public opinion, adding that it also highlighted the widening gap between the pan-blue and pan-green camps concerning cross-strait issues.

Most respondents had a natural inclination to support Taiwanese independence and expect the nation to boost relations with the US and react against Beijing’s pressure, said Fan Shih-ping (范世平), political science professor at National Taiwan Normal University.

Whether Taiwan should boost ties with the US or with China would be an unavoidable question for Taiwanese politicians planning to run for president in 2020, Fan added.

The poll was conducted on Friday and Saturday via telephone interviews with adults and collected 1,070 valid samples. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.