The number of Taiwanese who would prefer to maintain the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait has reached an all-time high, a poll released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday showed.
The poll showed that 27 percent of respondents said they preferred “maintaining the ‘status quo’ forever,” the highest figure registered since the poll was first conducted in 2001. Last year, 25.5 percent preferred that option.
MAC Deputy Minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said the figures showed a steady growth over the years and this year’s numbers indicated that the public hoped to see both sides stay the course. The more appreciation the public has for cross-strait policy, the higher the figure, he said, adding that it still remained to be seen why more people were opting for “maintaining the ‘status quo’ forever.”
The poll results also showed that 35 percent said they preferred “maintaining the ‘status quo’ and deciding later,” 15.1 percent said they favored “maintaining the ‘status quo’ and then becoming independent,” while 7.6 percent said they would “maintain the ‘status quo’ and then unify [with China].”
“The country should declare independence as soon as possible,” was favored by 6.7 percent, while 1.2 percent leaned toward “immediate unification with China.”
The poll also found that 44.3 percent of respondents said Beijing was unfriendly to the government, while 35.3 percent said it was friendly.
While 41.3 percent said Beijing was unfriendly to the Taiwanese people, 39.7 percent thought it was friendly.
On the government’s work deregulating and liberalizing cross-strait regulations, 40.6 percent said the speed was just right. 33.6 percent said the liberalization of cross-strait exchanges was moving too fast, while 12.3 percent said it was too slow and 13.5 percent did not respond.
A majority of the respondents said cross-strait relations had improved over the past year and had confidence in the government’s ability to maintain cross-strait peace and stability.
With the third round of high-level cross-strait talks set to begin today, a majority of the respondents said they were in favor of signing agreements with Beijing on jointly combating crime and the extradition of fugitives, and increasing the number of flights and destinations of charter flight services.
A majority of the respondents also said cross-strait financial cooperation would benefit the economy and the three agreements and one joint statement both sides plan to finalize this weekend would help normalize cross-strait trade.