Thu, Dec 14, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Survey reveals Taiwanese national sentiment strong

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A survey released yesterday suggests that a clear majority of the population think of themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese.

The survey, conducted by the quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), polled a total of 1,703 people from Nov. 26 to 27 and showed that 57.8 percent of respondents identified themselves as Taiwanese and only 15.8 percent as Chinese. The remaining 16.8 percent consider themselves both Taiwanese and Chinese.

The survey also showed that growing numbers of people have definite attitudes towards conveying their choice on Taiwan's future, whether it is pro-independence or pro-unification with China, the survey said.

In the poll, when asked about the independence, 33.5 percent of the polled said they thought it was better for Taiwan to be independent and 22.7 percent said Taiwan should be unified with China.

The remaining 23.8 percent said maintaining status quo was the best option.

But when asked about their ultimate choice if maintaining the status-quo proved impossible, 41.9 percent of the respondents said Taiwan should be independent while 31.4 percent said Taiwan should be unified with China.

Hao Pei-chih (郝培芝), assistant professor of the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the National Taipei University, said there is a tendency for the people of Taiwan to polarize cross-strait issues but that they also had a clearer attitude towards voicing their preferences.

"I think the people of Taiwan have more definite attitudes towards disclosing their stances on independence or unification," Hao said.

About 55 percent of respondents said they were worried about potential Taiwanese over-investment in China, which could be unfavorable to Taiwan's economic development and 29.6 percent said they were not worried.

Meanwhile, 68.9 percent of the individuals surveyed said they approved of government efforts to allow more Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan.

However, about 30 percent of those polled said they thought regulations controlling Chinese tourists visits to Taiwan are too lax, with another 30 percent saying regulations are too strict.

Some 61 percent of people polled said they thought China's policies on Taiwan harbor more malice than goodwill.

SEF Secretary-General You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said the poll indicated that young Taiwanese were more hostile toward China than the older generation.

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