Tue, Apr 02, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Majority decry Han’s ‘pro-China’ trip

INAPPROPRIATE:Fifty-one percent of respondents to a Cross-strait Policy Association poll said that Han’s support of the ‘1992 consensus’ means he accepts ‘one country, two systems’

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

A graph showing the results of an opinion poll conducted by the Cross-Strait Policy Association on Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s unannounced meeting with the director of China’s liaison office is displayed at a presentation in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

More than half of the public disapproved of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) visit to China’s liaison office in Hong Kong and the support that he expressed for the “1992 consensus” while in China, a poll released yesterday by the Cross-strait Policy Association found.

Asked about Han’s unreported visit to the Chinese Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 59.8 percent of respondents said it was inappropriate, while only 28 percent said it was appropriate, the poll showed.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said that Han’s strong support of the “1992 consensus” during his China trip meant that he accepts China’s “one country, two systems” model, while 34.2 percent did not think that is what it meant, the poll showed.

Han’s explicit support for the “1992 consensus” while in China was inappropriate, according to 50.4 percent of respondents, compared with 37.5 percent who said it was appropriate, the poll showed.

The so-called “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The poll showed President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to be the most popular candidate for next year’s presidential election if she and former premier William Lai (賴清德) are on the same ticket running against Han.

Asked to choose a president from among Tsai, Han and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), 34.8 percent of respondents chose Han, 31.1 percent chose Tsai and 24.6 percent chose Ko.

Asked to choose a president from among Lai, Han and Ko, most respondents, or 33.2 percent, still chose Han, while 32.1 percent chose Lai and 25.3 percent chose Ko.

If Tsai ran for re-election with Lai as her vice president, 35.7 percent of respondents said they would vote for her, compared with 34.7 percent who would still choose Han and 20.6 percent who would back Ko.

The poll showed that 48.1 percent of respondents agreed that Lai should run as Tsai’s vice president, while 31.3 percent disagreed.

According to the poll, Han’s trip to China sparked mixed reactions, National Taiwan Normal University political science professor Fan Shih-ping (范世平) said.

“The honeymoon period is over and public support for Han appears to be falling,” he said.

The successful deals that Han returned from China with did not give him a significant lead over Tsai and Lai in the poll, Taipei University of Marine Technology assistant professor Wu Chien-chung (吳建忠) said.

Although drawing attention to the economic benefits of cross-strait cooperation, Han has failed to neutralize Beijing’s authoritarian image, Wu added.

“The KMT has not properly explained the difference between their ‘1992 consensus’ and China’s version,” he said.

The poll results suggest that “Taiwanese want cross-strait exchanges to be conducted in a transparent manner and based on equal standing,” Taiwan Think Tank member Doing Sy-chi (董思齊) said.

“Future presidential candidates can no longer rely on shallow slogans. They must delineate their platform on foreign relations, economic development, democracy and human rights issues,” he added.

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