Sun, May 18, 2003 - Page 3 News List

MAC survey shows support for restrictions

CROSS-STRAIT The poll also gauged public opinion on China-bound investment and revealed that most people want restrictions to be imposed on capital flight

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

More than 78 percent of respondents in a survey released yesterday by the Mainland Affairs Council said that the government should continue its temporary ban on travelers from SARS-affected areas if the epidemic continues to spread around the nation.

The survey of 1,082 adults, conducted by National Chengchi University between May 12 and 14, also found that majority of those polled said the government should not relax its tough measures on cross-strait-travel exchanges even if Taiwan's SARS situation is brought under control.

The council on Friday moved to temporarily suspend the "small three links" between Kinmen and the Chinese cities of Xiamen and Fuzhou in a bid to prevent the spread of SARS from China.

Lienchiang County, the other offshore island where the links have been implemented, has also had its ties suspended since March 31 until further notice.

According to the survey, 48.9 percent of respondents said that the government should not relax its measures on travel exchanges with China even if Taiwan's SARS is brought under control, while 38.4 percent said that the measures should be relaxed once Taiwan sees signs of the SARS crisis easing.

The survey also showed that the majority of Taiwanese are cautious when it comes to opening up direct transport links with China with 59.2 percent of respondents saying that the government should take it slow while 27.1 percent said the sooner cross-strait direct transportation is opened up the better. Almost 4 percent said that it depends on circumstances.

Meanwhile, the survey showed that 64.5 percent of respondents feel that the government should place more restrictions on China-bound investments, while 19.9 percent said that the government should relax its restrictions on Taiwanese investors in China. Just 1.1 percent said that all measures concerning China-bound investments should stay the way they are now.

Survey results

* More than a quarter believe a ban on travel from SARS-infected areas should continue in the meantime.

* Almost half want restrictions on travel from China continued even if the SARS battle is being won.

* Two-thirds want restrictions on China-bound investment.

Source: MAC

According to the survey, about 65 percent of respondents think that Beijing is not friendly toward Taipei, while approximatly 44 percent think that Beijing is not friendly toward people from Taiwan.

The survey also showed that 82.2 percent of respondents favored the status quo between China and Taiwan.

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