Over 70 percent of respondents in a recent opinion poll conducted by the Taiwan Thinktank say Taiwan is a sovereign and independent nation.
The survey results, released yesterday, indicate 14.5 percent of those polled believe Taiwan is not a sovereign independent nation, while 2.9 percent felt it was hard to say, and another 10 percent did not know.
"The opinions of the people of Taiwan play an important role in the US-Taiwan-China triangular relationship ? The question now is how to handle a new Taiwan, a Taiwan with new problems and new opinions," said Lai I-chung (
The survey focused on reaction to US President George W. Bush's re-election, its impact on cross-strait relations and expectations for the next four years. The poll surveyed 1,076 people over the age of 20 nationwide in telephone interviews last Thursday and Friday.
According to the think tank, the poll's results are within a 95 percent confidence index with a standard deviation of 3.04.
The think tank is generally believed to sympathize with the pan-green camp.
According Lin Cheng-yi (
"54.3 percent believe that Bush's re-election will be helpful for cross-strait relations, while about 21 percent felt it would not be helpful. From this we see that between [US Senator John] Kerry and Bush, most wanted Bush re-elected," Lin said.
Nevertheless, most respondents would like to see the US reconsider its "one China" policy, given Tai-wan's unfair status under the policy. According to the poll, a total of 67.8 percent of respondents support a rethink of the "one China" policy, 6.5 percent did not and 16.2 percent said they did not know.
There was also overwhelming support for the normalization of ties with the US. Over 88 percent were in favor of normalizing ties and just 2 percent were opposed.
Citing US Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent remarks on cross-strait relations, generally seen as a setback for Taiwan, Lin pointed out that the survey results indicated that a good portion of those polled felt that there was a chance the US would forgo ties with Taiwan in order to pursue better relations with China.
"This is different from the traditional stance that is generally seen as overly dependent on the US. It probably has something to do with Powell's remarks," Lin said.
Twelve percent felt the US would definitely "sacrifice" Taiwan in order to pursue cooperation with China, 30 percent thought it was possible, while 29 percent said it would not happen and 10 percent said it definitely would not happen.
As for President Chen Shui-bian's (
Asked which political party would be best equipped to protect Taiwan's sovereignty, 27.9 percent said the Democratic Progressive Party, 13.3 percent said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), 1.7 percent said the Taiwan Solidarity Union and 0.9 percent said the People First Party. However, 44 percent said they had no opinion.