Although their stances on the independence-versus-unification issue remain generally unchanged, Taiwanese are increasingly concerned about President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) China policy, according to the latest survey released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).
The survey was conducted by the National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9 at the request of the council, which has for years monitored public opinion on the current pace of cross-strait exchanges and the independence-unification issue through telephone-based polls.
When asked whether they perceived the current pace of cross-strait exchanges to be too fast, too slow or moderate, a slight majority, or 37.1 percent, of respondents said the pace was just right, while 15.8 percent said it was “too slow.”
However, 36.3 percent of those polled — the highest percentage reported in three years — said the pace was “too rapid,” up about 8 percentage points from August last year.
Meanwhile, a steady decline has been seen in the percentage of respondents saying that the pace is moderate, which stood at about 40 percent in previous surveys.
Some observers have attributed the downward trend to the Ma administration’s perceived arbitrary approach in pushing for the passage of the highly controversial cross-strait service trade agreement it signed on June 21.
The pact, which is still pending approval by the legislature, has been described by opposition lawmakers as a “back-room deal” between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as only a handful of representatives of the 64 Taiwanese industries affected by the treaty were consulted in advance.
The Ma administration has repeatedly rejected calls from representatives of concerned Taiwanese workers to renegotiate the agreement with China.
Meanwhile, 56.8 percent of respondents said they considered China’s attitude toward Taiwan to be “unfriendly,” the second-highest rate recorded since Ma assumed office in May 2008, compared with only 26.6 percent who thought China was “friendly.”
As for cross-strait relations, only about 11 percent of respondents said they would prefer unification with China, including 2.3 percent who favored immediate unification and 8.3 percent who supported the so-called “status quo” now and unification later.
The mainstream public opinion still leaned toward “the status quo” and “no unification,” as a majority — or 33.7 percent — of respondents wanted to “retain the status quo now and decide either unification or independence later,” followed by those who preferred maintaining the “status quo” permanently (24.1 percent) and those who supported continuing the “status quo” at present and announcing independence in the future (18.5 percent).
About 7 percent of respondents favored immediate independence, while 6.1 percent said they had no opinion.
The survey collected 1,073 valid samples and had a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
ASEAN BATTLEGROUND: Japan and Australia could be drawn into Pacific tensions as China sets its sights on the Diaoyutai Islands and further beyond the first island chain Tensions between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to intensify, the National Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, recommending that Taiwan continue to emphasize its shared values and interests to encourage resistance to Chinese aggression. US commitments in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to continue unabated despite the war in Ukraine, as Beijing takes advantage of the conflict to expand its influence in the region, the agencies said in reports delivered to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Sunday, ahead of a hearing yesterday on regional developments and trends. Although Russia’s invasion of
ONLINE REPORT: Confirmed cases filling out the online contact tracing report can check a box to indicate that a close contact had received a booster dose, an official said The guidelines for diagnosing COVID-19 have been revised to include people aged 65 or older who test positive with a rapid test that is confirmed by a healthcare worker, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 65,794 new local infections. The CECC had first announced the change on Monday, before publishing the new guidelines. Starting today, people aged 65 or older, regardless of whether they are undergoing home quarantine, home isolation or self-disease prevention, can be classified as a confirmed COVID-19 case by a healthcare professional, based on a positive result from an antigen rapid test, said