Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tsai’s cross-strait policy not helpful for peace: survey

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) cross-strait policy is not conducive to stability in the Taiwan Strait, according to respondents to a pan-blue think tank poll published yesterday, with most having greater trust in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The survey was conducted from Thursday to Saturday by the Taiwan Real Survey Co at the behest of the National Policy Foundation, which was founded in 2000 as a KMT think tank and is headed by KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).

It came on the heels of a poll released by the Cross-Strait Policy Association on Oct. 30, which showed that most respondents, or 44.8 percent, approved of Tsai’s cross-strait policy, followed by that of independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) at 28 percent and Wu at 18.3 percent.

The poll met with fierce criticism from the KMT, which called it a “fake survey” designed to make the public view the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration through rose-tinted glasses.

The KMT also cast doubt on the relationship between the association and the DPP, saying leadership roles were occupied by green-leaning individuals in the past.

In yesterday’s poll, 46.6 percent of respondents did not believe Tsai’s cross-strait policy would be helpful to maintaining cross-strait peace and stability, compared with 22.2 percent who thought otherwise.

Asked which of the two major parties’ China policy could better safeguard Taiwanese safety and interests, 36.8 percent said the KMT and 19.9 percent said the DPP.

About 13 percent said neither and 3 percent said both.

The survey also tried to draw a parallel between Tsai’s cross-strait policy and that of Premier William Lai (賴清德), who has described himself as a Taiwanese independence pragmatist and has publicly stated his support for Taiwanese independence.

Tsai has repeatedly reiterated her determination to maintain the cross-strait “status quo,” vowing not to change her promises and goodwill, or return to the old path of confrontation.

However, she has said that her administration would not succumb to pressure.

Respondents seemed divided on the matter, with 16.9 percent saying Tsai’s and Lai’s cross-strait policy was contradictory, followed by 16.6 percent who believed their stances were consistent, and 16.5 percent who suspected they were playing a two-handed strategy.

Tamkang University’s College of International Studies dean Wang Kao-cheng (王高成) said that a cross-analysis of the poll found not even younger respondents — those aged between 20 and 29 — thought Tsai’s cross-strait policy is conducive to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, citing statistics showing 47.7 percent of them expressed such a view against 22.7 percent who said otherwise.

Wang said, in a sarcastic tone, that the main supporter group of the president’s policy seems to be those with only primary-school education, adding that 58.7 percent of them expressed support for her policy.

The poll collected 1,072 samples and has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.

In response, DPP spokesman Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said the KMT think tank’s survey seemed to have been conducted in a “parallel universe,” urging the KMT to ensure that its cross-strait rhetoric conforms with mainstream public opinion despite Chinese pressure.

Citing a survey published by the Mainland Affairs Council last week, Wang Min-sheng said that 85.2 percent of respondents supported maintaining the “status quo” in a broad sense, and that 81.8 percent supported the DPP administration’s effort to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity while maintaining cross-strait peace and stability.

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