Sat, May 13, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Overseas trip boosts Chen's approval rating: DPP poll

STAFF WRITER

President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) approval rate has risen to 33 percent in the wake of his diplomatic trip, according to the results of an opinion poll released yesterday.

The poll, conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), showed the president has bounced from an 18 percent approval rate in a similar poll conducted in March.

The new poll found 72 percent of respondents appreciated the president's efforts to achieve diplomatic breakthroughs and highlight Taiwan's visibility in the face of China's incessant oppression, while 66 percent believed it is the president's job to work hard for Taiwan's diplomacy and would affirm what Chen did.

"Most of our respondents believe that the president represents the country and its sovereignty, hence the public across party lines should support the president's efforts," said Chang Yu-fan (張毓芬), director of the DPP's Polling Center.

The result showed that 45.4 percent of the respondents think Chen's diplomatic trip could help promote Taiwan's international visibility while the other 43.6 percent think it did not help.

62.8 percent said they think the US did not do a good job in its handling of Chen's transit request while 19.8 percent said they think the US' decision was appropriate.

The poll found that 43.6 percent of respondents believed Chen's refusal to make a transit stop in the US highlighted Taiwan's individualism, while 43 percent said the president's decision not to make a transit stop in Anchorage, Alaska, was too "emotional."

For the survey, phone interviews were conducted on May 11 and 746 valid responses were received. The margin of error was 3.7 percentage points.

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