An opinion poll released yesterday found that support for independence has fallen to its lowest level in three years, despite a majority of Taiwanese remaining opposed to unification with China.
Forty-four percent of respondents supported Taiwan’s eventual independence, the lowest figure since December 2009 and a drop of more than 10 percentage points from the 55.4 percent recorded in a poll conducted in August last year, according to Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR).
Meanwhile, opposition to independence appeared to be gaining support, with 37.4 percent of those polled saying they did not support independence — the highest number since February 2006, when the polling institute began conducting surveys on the public’s views on cross-strait relations.
“The reasons behind the sudden change are unclear, but we believe it could be related to several visits to China by Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] politicians to promote closer bilateral ties,” TISR general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said in a press release.
Support rates for eventual independence have ranged between 42.1 percent and 51.4 percent in the 11 polls TISR has conducted between February 2006 and September 2011, before the record-high of 55.4 percent in August last year and the sudden slide in the latest poll, TISR data showed.
Support for eventual unification with China has not increased, with 63.6 percent opposing such a move.
However, the support rate for unification, 20.9 percent, was also at its highest since November 2008.
The survey also asked respondents for their general impression of the People’s Republic of China and found that a majority of them agreed with six of eight descriptions.
More than 60 percent of respondents viewed China as “powerful” and “successful,” but, at the same time, “unpredictable, untrustworthy, threatening and ‘different from us,’” the survey found.
Respondents were split on whether China adopts a defensive/offensive-oriented strategy and whether China is a willing partner.
President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval rating was 18.2 percent, down 0.2 percent from earlier last month, while his disapproval rating remained at 71.3 percent, according to the survey.
The poll, which was conducted between Monday and Tuesday, collected 1,008 valid samples with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
SECOND RULING: Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer refused to sign a court transcript, complained about the court translator and said the trial had been unfair The High Court yesterday upheld New Taipei City District Court’s verdicts on four men convicted last year in connection with the 2018 murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen on the banks of the Sindian River (新店溪). It found American-Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent guilty of homicide and the abandonment and destruction of a corpse, with Mayer sentenced to life in prison and Bent given a term of 12 years and six months, for the death of Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body parts were found in a riverside park under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei’s Yonghe
ALLEVIATING FEARS: The CECC would only announce public places where it is difficult to identify everyone there at the same time as the couple, minister Chen said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced six places where two locally infected COVID-19 cases had visited between Thursday last week and Sunday, urging people who had been at the places at the same time to monitor their health. The couple, cases 838, a doctor, and 839, his nurse girlfriend, were reported by the center on Tuesday. The doctor had treated a patient with COVID-19 last week before he began suffering symptoms on Friday, while the nurse began suffering symptoms on Saturday. They work in the same hospital in northern Taiwan, but the nurse had not worked with COVID-19 patients, so
A lawyer and a prosecutor yesterday castigated what they called a lenient ruling by the High Court on Luo Wen-shan (羅文山), whose prison sentence was reduced to two years, which he does not need to serve, after he was convicted for receiving illegal political donations from China to meddle in Taiwan’s elections. Investigators found that Luo, who retired from the army with the rank of lieutenant general, had accepted NT$8.38 million (US$294,604 at the current exchange rate) under the guise of political contributions from Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Xu Zhiming (許智明) and people in Hong Kong from 2008 to