Tue, Aug 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Poll finds wide support for new diplomatic moves

Staff writer, with CNA

A public opinion poll found an approval rating of more than 70 percent for two of the government’s diplomatic initiatives: the “steadfast diplomacy” initiative and the New Southbound Policy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the results of the survey by Trend Survey & Research Co yesterday, which found overwhelming support for the way the government is handling diplomatic relations.

According to the poll, 70 percent of respondents approved of the government’s “steadfast diplomacy” initiative, with 85 percent expressing approval for the nation’s new approach to diplomacy, in which Taiwan aids countries that reciprocally benefit national interests.

In addition, 85 percent of respondents supported the use of limited government resources to better aid the nation’s embassies abroad, while 76 percent supported visits by high-ranking officials to nations with which Taiwan has diplomatic ties.

These attitudes also reflect opposition to checkbook diplomacy, with 72 percent of respondents affirming that Taiwan should not seek to buy diplomatic favors.

Asked about the New Southbound Policy, 80 percent were in favor, an increase from 71 percent in last year’s survey.

In addition, nearly 72 percent of respondents were in favor of the ministry’s decision to loosen visa regulations for visitors from Southeast and South Asian countries.

Overall, the ministry sees these figures as indicative of greater public awareness of the New Southbound Policy.

In another attempt to reach out to the public, the ministry established an official Facebook fan page on July 21, which was lauded as a good step by 83.6 percent of respondents, despite only 10.7 percent being aware of the page, which has nearly 5,000 likes.

The survey, conducted from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11, polled 1,134 people in all 22 of the nation’s administrative divisions, with 44 people respondents under 20 years of age and 1,090 over 20.

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