Sun, May 06, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Support for cross-strait links at seven-year low

TELLING NUMBERS Respondents showed strong support for joining international organizations like the UN while a majority opposed the 'one country, two systems' model

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The percentage of people in favor of a conditional opening of direct cross-strait transportation links has dropped to a seven-year low, a survey released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) showed.

The survey on public views on cross-strait relations was conducted by National Chengchi University on behalf of the MAC.

The survey interviewed 1,072 people from April 20 to April 22 and has a margin of error of 2.99 percent.

On the issue of direct cross-strait transportation, 69.3 percent of people polled favored a "conditional opening," compared with 14.8 percent who favored an "unconditional opening."

The polls showed that the ratio of those who favor a conditional opening had reached its height -- at 83.2 percent -- in April 2000 and that the ratio had since slipped, dropping to 70.3 percent last December.

MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said he would continue to monitor the situation in the hope of finding more about the reasons behind the downward trend.

The poll also found that 77.3 percent of respondents were in favor of joining the UN and other international organizations under the name "Taiwan."

After failed attempts over the past decade to join the WHO as an observer, Taiwan will bid for membership for the second time under the name of "Taiwan" when the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, convenes later this month in Geneva.

On the issue of pursuing unification with China or seeking Taiwan independence, respondents in favor of a broadly defined "status quo" were still the dominant group, with 80.1 percent, in tune with the results obtained in past surveys.

But a great majority, or 72.2 percent, disapproved of China's "one country, two systems" model for unification.

The percentage of people who believed that the government in Beijing had adopted an unfriendly stance toward the Taiwanese government and its people remained high, at 58.6 percent and 39.9 percent respectively.

On the question of giving priority to developing diplomatic relations with China and other countries, the result was the same, at 34.2 percent.

Even if this caused tension across the Taiwan Strait, 63.9 percent of respondents favored developing diplomatic ties with other countries.

On the government's restrictions on investment in China, 52.2 percent said they should be more stringent, while 30.3 percent were in favor of relaxing the measures.

On the pace of cross-strait exchanges, 30.2 percent said they were too slow, compared with 22.5 percent who said they were too fast and 34.5 percent who said they were acceptable.

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