Sixty-seven percent of Taiwanese would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine produced by a Chinese manufacturer, while 24.3 percent would accept it, a survey showed yesterday.
The poll, designed by the Taiwan International Strategic Study Society and the Taiwan International Studies Association, asked people about Taiwan-China relations and Taiwan-US relations under the administration of US President Joe Biden.
The results of the survey, conducted by Focus Survey Research, were announced at a news conference at the Howard Plaza Hotel in Taipei.
It showed that only 5.4 percent of respondents “very much approved” if Taiwan were to import vaccines from China, while 18.9 percent “approved.”
Of the 67 percent who did not approve, 27.1 percent said they “mostly disapproved,” while 39.9 percent said they “very much disapproved,” it showed.
Asked whether they hoped Taiwan and China could resume meaningful dialogue, 77.9 percent said they did, while 13.7 percent said they did not, the survey showed.
“There is a contradiction in the results. The majority does not want Chinese vaccines, but a majority wants dialogue with China,” said Wang Kun-yi (王崑義), an associate professor at Tamkang University, who heads the Strategic Study Society.
This might be because China did not provide scientific data on its vaccines, he added.
Asked about their opinion on US’ assistance to Taiwan’s defense, only 21.3 percent said they felt that the US was sincere, while 61.1 percent said they felt that the US’ intention was to exploit Taiwan, the survey showed.
“Taiwan plays an important role in the framework of US-China competition. However, despite its efforts over the past two to three years, the US has not won the trust of Taiwanese,” society executive director Lo Ching-sheng (羅慶生) said, adding that Washington would need to work harder to improve its relationship with Taiwan.
Asked whether they believe that Biden could “rely on his political experience to help the US maintain its position as a major world power,” 60.9 percent said that they believed he could, while 17.8 percent said he could not, the study showed.
“This shows that Taiwanese look favorably upon Biden’s ability to lead,” Lo said.
Asked whether the administration of former US president Donald Trump had weakened the US, as it withdrew from major international organizations, 37.8 percent said that they believe the US to be weaker, while 41.6 percent said they did not, the study showed.
This showed that Taiwanese still have a high degree of confidence in the US government, Chinese Culture University College of Social Sciences dean Chao Chien-min (趙建民) said.
“In the past, the US observed a bottom line in its relationship with Taiwan, but now there are concerns that it has instrumentalized Taiwan, which is the core of the current US-China conflict,” he said.
Solving the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty is not a core interest for the US, so there are concerns among Taiwanese that the US uses this issue — as well as issues related to Hong Kong — in talks with China to advance its own interests, he said.
The survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, and collected 1,080 valid samples.
It had a margin of error of 2.98 percentage points.
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