Public support for a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) appears to have plummeted in the past year, with the majority of respondents in a public opinion survey released yesterday saying such a meeting was unnecessary.
The poll, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research, asked respondents if they support a meeting between Ma and Xi before Ma’s term ends in 2016, and found that 54.4 percent opposed it, 26.5 percent said it was necessary and 19.1 percent gave no answer.
A similar poll in August last year found that 43.2 percent supported such a meeting, while 36 percent disapproved of it.
Asked what issues should be raised if the meeting took place, “Taiwan’s future should be decided by its 23 million people” ranked first among the responses at 77.1 percent.
It was followed by “respect for the ‘status quo’ of the Republic of China (ROC),” 73.7 percent; non-interference in Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and activities, 73.5 percent; renouncing the use of force against Taiwan, 72 percent; and a bilateral peace agreement, 65.3 percent.
Bilateral political negotiations (49.5 percent) and the so-called “1992 consensus” (37.3 percent) failed to gain majority support, the survey showed.
On institutionalized bilateral engagement, 62 percent of respondents agreed that regular visits by ministerial-level officials, such as China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun’s (張志軍) recent four-day trip to Taiwan, would promote cross-strait peace, while 22.2 percent disagreed.
Asked which political party would better safeguard Taiwan’s security and interests in cross-strait exchanges, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) garnered the strongest support at 37.2 percent.
It was followed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at 25.4 percent, the People First Party at 11.4 percent, the Taiwan Solidarity Union at 6.5 percent and the New Party at 3.8 percent.
While the KMT remained the most trusted party when it comes to cross-strait dealings, the DPP seemed to have renewed its longstanding anti-ROC image.
Only 45.3 percent of respondents believed that the party recognized ROC as the name of the country, while 36.9 percent disagreed.
Among those who identified themselves as DPP supporters, 69.2 percent agreed that the party has accepted the ROC as the country’s official title, the survey found.
Asked which would be the most imperative issue on which the DPP should make public statements, “recognition of the ROC Constitution” topped the responses at 58.8 percent.
The survey, conducted from Wednesday to Friday, collected 1,002 valid samples and had a margin of errors of 3.1 percentage points.
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