Wed, May 18, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Majority reject ‘consensus’: survey

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

A majority of Taiwanese think president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should not endorse the so-called “1992 consensus” during her inaugural address, and close to half think President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) adherence to the “consensus” over the past eight years has not helped boost Taiwan’s participation in UN organizations, a survey published yesterday by Taiwan Thinktank found.

The think tank found 54.3 percent of respondents said that Tsai should not comply with Beijing’s demand that she acknowledge the “1992 consensus” in her speech, with 18.4 percent of respondents who consider themselves pan-blue camp supporters saying they opposed the demand.

Asked about the WHO’s invitation to the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, which cited UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 as a caveat to Taiwan’s representatives attending the annual meeting, 47.8 percent of respondents said that Ma’s response that the nation would attend the assembly “within boundaries defined by the ‘1992 consensus’” would not help Taiwan gain more space at UN organizations.

The “1992 consensus,” a term that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted to making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and China that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Asked if the WHO’s citation of the “one China” principle in this year’s invitation meant that Ma’s administration attended past WHAs on the principle, 47.3 percent of respondents agreed.

A plan by Tsai’s incoming administration to attend the WHA next week and voice strong protest at the conference against the WHO’s belittlement of Taiwan’s sovereignty was approved by 72.3 percent.

Asked what policies Tsai should work on after taking office, 56.6 percent said that she should formulate policies to bolster the nation’s economy, followed by policies to boost employment (24.7 percent) and education (17.9 percent).

Sixteen percent said Tsai should push for pension reform, which she has said would be one of the first items on her list after taking office.

Asked with which nations Taiwan should retain close ties with, 55.6 percent of respondents said the US, followed by Japan (19.1 percent) and China (15.7 percent).

However, 34.2 percent of pan-blue supporters said that next to the US, China is Taiwan’s most important ally, while just 4.8 percent of pan-green supporters shared that opinion.

As for Ma’s performance as president, 69.2 percent of respondents gave Ma a failing score, which averaged 48.2 percent.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said that the survey results cemented the falseness of Ma’s claim that the “1992 consensus” was a prerequisite for peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait and showed that his belief runs counter to public opinion.

“It shows that all the premise for all policies should not be based on the ‘1992 consensus,’ and that cross-strait relations should be approached by maintaining the ‘status quo,’ just as Tsai said,” Lee said.

The survey collected 1,069 valid samples across the nation with a 95 percent confidence level and a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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