Tue, Aug 28, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese have multiple identities: poll

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A majority of Taiwanese have multiple self-identities, a phenomenon which has been consistent since 2008, but an increasing number of young people identify themselves with China, a survey has found.

The Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) examined the attitude of Taiwanese toward themselves and China with the survey and found that their views have not changed much.

In a question on self-identity that allowed respondents make multiple choices, 95.5 percent of those who polled said they viewed themselves as Taiwanese and 82.2 percent said they were from the Republic of China (ROC).

The top two self-identifications were followed by 75.1 percent of respondents who said they belonged to Zhonghua Minzu (中華民族), 70.9 percent who said they were Asians and 68 percent saying they were Hua people (華人).

Forty-four percent of respondents identified themselves as Chinese and 9.4 percent identified themselves as “members of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”

While the results were similar to those in a previous survey in September 2008, TISR general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said in a press release it showed that more than one-fifth of the 20-24 age group identified with the PRC — the highest number among all age groups.

“It remains to be seen whether self-identification among [youth] is now more diverse with relaxed cross-strait relations,” Tai said.

Meanwhile, asked what cross-strait relations would eventually resemble, 39.2 percent of respondents envisioned China as a “business partner” and 19.4 percent said Beijing would be a “friend.”

Only 7.7 percent regarded China as an enemy, with 7.3 percent saying China is a “family member” and 6.7 percent saying it is a “relative.”

However, the percentage of respondents who regarded Beijing as trading partners dropped by 4.9 percent, despite Taiwan and China inking an investment protection agreement recently, said Tai.

The survey also found that 50.2 percent of respondents viewed the Beijing government as “unfriendly” toward Taiwanese, up 12.3 percent since 2008, while 32.8 percent saw China as friendly, down 6.2 percent from four years ago.

Despite Taiwan and China signing 18 agreements in recent years, 56.9 percent of respondents said their impression of China’s government remained unchanged, with 25.7 percent saying the Beijing has left them with a better impression than before and 3.7 percent saying the impression had worsened.

The poll, conducted between Tuesday and Thursday last week, collected 1,007 valid samples and had a 3.1 percent margin of error.

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