Support for Taiwanese independence has spiked and most people do not fear that China would launch a military attack against the nation, the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation said at a news conference yesterday, citing a poll it conducted.
Among the people it surveyed, 54 percent said they support Taiwanese independence, 23.4 percent favored maintaining the “status quo,” 12.5 percent supported unification with China and about 10 percent gave no response or were unsure, the survey showed.
Of those who favored the “status quo,” 44.1 percent said they would back independence if pushed, 33.6 percent said they would continue to support the “status quo” and 22.3 percent said they would back unification, the survey showed.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Recalibrating the results using the breakdown of the “status quo” supporters showed that 64.4 percent of respondents ultimately supported Taiwanese independence, 7.9 percent backed the “status quo” and 17.8 percent favored unification with China, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said.
“In my research on public surveys on these issues over the past 30 years, this is the highest rate of support among Taiwanese for independence,” You said. “It is also the lowest figure for people supporting unification with China.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is an important factor pushing people to back independence, he said, adding: “I don’t know any other reasonable explanation for the results.”
Respondents were asked about Beijing having reiterated its resolve to invade Taiwan to deter movement toward independence and other threats, including Chinese aircraft intruding into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
Forty-three percent of respondents said they were afraid that China would attack Taiwan, while 55 percent said they are not concerned.
“Overall, 55 percent of people said that they do not fear that China would launch a military attack against Taiwan,” Taiwan Association for China Human Rights chairman Yang Sen-hong (楊憲宏) said. “This majority are courageous Taiwanese and the result is an interesting development.”
Asked about China approving national security legislation for Hong Kong and the British government proposing to permit 3 million Hong Kongers to apply for UK citizenship, 41.5 percent of respondents said that Taipei should follow London’s lead, while 50.5 percent said that the rules for Hong Kongers being granted Republic of China citizenship should not change.
Thirty-three percent said that the Council of Grand Justices’ Constitutional Interpretation No. 791, which effectively decriminalized adultery, was a good decision, while 60 percent disagreed with the ruling.
The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday last week among Taiwanese aged at least 20, collecting 1,074 valid responses. It has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
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