Sun, Jul 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Unification support dives: poll

THE MA EFFECT:The survey found only 9.1% of respondents support unification, against 21.1% who support independence, and only 3.3% see themselves as Chinese

By Tseng Wei-chen and Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The latest poll by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center showed a record-low 9.1 percent of respondents support unification with China, and a record-low 3.3 percent regard themselves as Chinese.

The poll is part of a study that has been ongoing since 1992 on political attitudes, including on the unification-independence issue, national identity and political party preference.

The latest figures, gathered last month, showed that 59 percent of respondents identify themselves as Taiwanese, a slight drop from 60.6 percent in December last year.

The poll found 33.7 percent of respondents said they are both Taiwanese and Chinese, increasing slightly from 32.5 percent last year, and those identifying themselves as solely Chinese dropped to a historical low of 3.3 percent.

The poll found 21.1 percent of respondents said they support Taiwanese independence or would favor an immediate declaration of independence, lower than 23.9 percent last year.

The number of people who support unification or lean toward immediate unification reached a historical low of 9.1 percent.

Support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has risen from 26.7 percent last year to a record-high 29.7 percent, while support for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) dropped from 22.9 percent last year to 21 percent, its lowest since 2003.

Support for the People First Party increased from 2.7 percent last year to 3.9 percent this year, the highest since 2006.

Saying that the data showed the long-term tendency of Taiwanese core attitudes and identifications, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said the percentage of people who identify themselves as Taiwanese has soared from 48.4 percent in 2008 to 59 percent this year due to a series of pro-China policies launched by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) since he took office in 2008.

The number of people who regard themselves as Chinese has fallen from 4 percent in 2008 to 3.3 percent this year and has yet to hit the bottom, which shows that the Taiwanese do not want Taiwan to be a part of China, Lee said.

Support for the KMT has plummeted from the historical high of 39.5 percent in 2011 to 21 percent this year, while support for the DPP has steadily climbed from 19.5 percent in 2009 to 29.7 percent this year, he said.

The rise and fall are the results of the KMT’s poor performance and the DPP’s ability to put forward clear policies and define the direction of reform, such as the proposal of developing renewable resources to bring about a nuclear-free homeland and an elaborated platform of the long-term care to provide for the aging population, he said.

However, the KMT and the Ma administration have turned their backs on public opinion, which is evident in a forceful implementation of a set of high-school curriculum guidelines that critics said are unprofessional and historically incorrect, while the government insists on pressing charges against students who stormed the headquarters of the Ministry of Education in Taipei on Thursday to protest against the curriculum, Lee said.

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