About two-thirds of Taiwanese do not identify as Chinese, a survey released on Tuesday showed.
The US-based Pew Research Center found that 66 percent view themselves as Taiwanese, 28 percent as both Taiwanese and Chinese ,and 4 percent as just Chinese.
The telephone poll of 1,562 people, conducted last year, has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.
The results are consistent with other polls showing that people in Taiwan increasingly identify only as Taiwanese, Pew said.
Younger generations in particular have developed a distinct identity, with 83 percent of respondents younger than 30 saying that they do not consider themselves Chinese, the survey showed.
Alexander Huang (黃介正), an associate professor in Tamkang University’s Department of Diplomacy and International Relations, said that it is a question of politics, not ethnic background.
Younger Taiwanese grew up in a democracy, while China is a one-party state, he said.
Another factor, is the diplomatic pressure that China puts on Taiwan and the military exercises it conducts in Taiwan’s vicinity, Huang said.
“We are ethnic Chinese for sure, but politically, I think that’s the big difference,” he said. “It is quite understandable that people don’t want to be identified as Chinese.”
In addition, about 2.3 percent of Taiwanese are members of indigenous groups not ethnically Chinese.
The Pew survey found that about 60 percent of Taiwanese have an unfavorable view of China. While 52 percent support closer economic ties with China, only 36 percent favor closer political ties.
Conversely, more than two-thirds have a favorable view of the US, with 79 percent supporting closer political ties.
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