Wed, Mar 25, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Young people identify as Taiwanese, survey shows

By Chen Ping-hung  /  Staff reporter

Nearly 90 percent of younger people in the nation identify themselves as Taiwanese, with about 40 percent of them wishing to maintain the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait while retaining the option to declare independence, according to a survey released by the China Youth Corps.

The poll, conducted between Oct. 22 and Dec. 10 last year among students in junior and senior-high schools nationwide, found that about 90 percent of the respondents regarded themselves as Taiwanese, with 49 percent preferring to permanently maintain the “status quo” and 38 percent saying they wanted the cross-strait status to remain as it has been in the hope that Taiwan could achieve independence in the future.

Just 12 percent of those polled supported cross-strait “unification,” while about 30 percent said they had never given much thought to cross-strait issues, the survey showed.

Meanwhile, male respondents generally attached greater importance to having a happy marriage and family, while female respondents assigned greater importance to personal freedom and career stability.

As for the growing youth unemployment rate, average low starting salaries and soaring real-estate costs, most respondents said that they did not believe the problems would go away any time soon and they put job stability before climbing career ladders.

Despite the nation’s sluggish job market, nearly 40 percent of those polled were disinclined to seek job opportunities in China, compared with 32 percent who said they would consider the idea, the survey said.

With regard to recreational activities, more than 60 percent of the respondents said that they spent less than 12 hours a week on leisure activities, citing a lack of time, companionship and money as the main reasons.

However, 80 percent of the respondents said that they were frequent users of smartphone messaging applications, while 48 percent said they used the Internet on a daily basis, mostly to chat with acquaintances and meet new friends.

The poll also found a growing willingness among respondents to engage in volunteer work, with more than 70 percent of those polled saying they were inclined to join volunteer missions and 80 percent saying that such activities are meaningful.

However, a wide gap remained between belief and action, as 70 percent of the respondents had never signed up for volunteer activities.

The survey collected 4,021 valid samples with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.56 percent.

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