Public opinion is divided on a meeting between Taiwan’s and China’s presidents and how Taiwan should react if the US reduces its arms sales, a poll showed yesterday.
Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) said 37.9 percent of respondents said Taiwan should buy fewer weapons from the US if China pledges to abandon the use of force against Taiwan.
However, almost half (48.3 percent) said Taiwan should not reduce its arms procurement, while 13.7 percent declined to answer.
The poll was conducted shortly after media reports said Beijing’s had proposed establishing an institutionalized dialogue with Washington about US arms sales to Taiwan, which the US later denied.
Opinion on arms sales seemed to be split as well, with 44.5 percent of respondents saying they hoped Taiwan could purchase better weapons systems to boost its military confidence against China’s modernized military capability, while 39.6 percent said advanced weaponry would be not be necessary since cross-strait tensions have been dramatically reduced.
TISR said public opinion on arms procurement is more divided than in April 2009, when a similar poll was conducted.
However, the majority of the respondents (63 percent) remain supportive of the “status quo,” even if Washington reduces its arms sales, with 19 percent saying that Taiwan should expedite the independence movement process and 3.2 percent favoring accelerated unification.
On the possibility of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) meeting, which Ma mentioned last week, 43.2 percent of respondents support such a meeting before Ma leaves office in 2016, while 36 percent do not support it and 20.6 percent did not respond.
The support rating has dropped compared with a poll in May 2010, when 51.5 percent of respondents said they supported a meeting between Ma and then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).
A question on what would be the best location for such a meeting, with respondents allowed to make more than on choice, Taiwan was named by 52.3 percent as the bestn, followed by a third country (42.2 percent), the median line of the Taiwan Strait (32.2 percent), Kinmen or Matsu (27.2 percent) and China (25.3 percent).
A multiple choice question on the titles to be used for such a meeting found 72 percent of the respondents favored “Republic of China president and the People’s Republic of China [PRC] president.”
The second most popular choice (57.4 percent) was “leader of the Taiwan region and leader of mainland China region,” followed by “Chinese Nationalist Party chairman and Chinese Communist Party general-secretary” (42.1 percent).
Other possible options were Ma and Xi meeting as leaders of APEC members — Chinese Taipei and the PRC (39.2 percent), while 33.7 percent said they should meet as leaders under the titles used in the WTO.
The survey was conducted on Monday and Tuesday and collected 1,002 valid samples. It had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
‘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