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Sat, Feb 10, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Survey finds some are downbeat on Taiwan's standing

CNA , TAIPEI

Well-educated and well-traveled respondents in a public opinion poll released yesterday by the Foreign Ministry tended to say that they see Taiwan's international standing gradually declining over time.

According to the poll, conducted between Jan. 4 and 9 with 1,068 effective samples collected from citizens around the island aged 20 and above, only 13.8 percent of the respondents said that they see a gradual rise in Taiwan's international standing, 39.1 percent see no change, and 41.5 percent see a decline through the years. The remaining 5.6 percent did not clearly answer the question.

Luo Chih-cheng (羅致政), director of the Foreign Ministry's Research and Planning Board, which conducted the poll, said that those respondents who traveled more frequently, held higher educational degrees, and were KMT supporters, were more pessimistic about the nation's diplomatic performance and international standing than other respondents.

Luo said that the impression of Taiwan's declining global standing came about mainly due to the recent changes in the nation's domestic financial and social situation. China's rapid development in recent years also played a role in reinforcing this impression, he added.

In a similar poll conducted last year, 25.8 percent of the respondents said they saw a gradual rise in the nation's global standing, 33.2 percent saw no changes, and 18 percent saw a gradual decline.

On the Foreign Ministry's performance over the past year, 43.4 percent of the respondents in the most recent poll expressed satisfaction, while 44.7 percent expressed dissatisfaction.

Meanwhile, 42.7 percent of the respondents expressed optimism for the nation's future diplomatic work, while 47.4 percent expressed pessimism.

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