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Talk of the day -- Fewer Taiwanese fear cross-strait conflict

Talk of the day -- Fewer Taiwanese fear cross-strait conflict

Taiwanese people's view of the atmosphere in the Taiwan Strait area, which has been pinpointed as one of the world's flash points, seems to have undergone a major change after President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008 and Taiwan signed an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) in June with its historical rival, China.
A local newspaper recently conducted a survey covering a wide range of cross-strait issues. The Chinese-language daily said it wanted to leave readers with a record to document the changes in cross-strait relations, to which their lives are closely attached.
The following is an excerpt from the paper's report: United Daily News: The survey was divided into several parts, including one aimed at gaining a public assessment of the threat of a cross-strait war, and another gauging whether relations were "friendly" (zero) -- or "tense or competitive" (10) in five fields: politics, the military, diplomacy, economy and trade, and society.
The first part of the survey adopted a 1-10 scoring system, with one point meaning no possibility of war between Taiwan and China and 10 points meaning war is very likely. Respondents gave the possibility a score of 3.2.
In the second part, respondents rated society, politics, and economy and trade as neither "tense or competitive" or "friendly, " with the three topics receiving a 5.1, 5.2 and 5.5 respectively.
In diplomacy and the military, however, the poll found that respondents said cross-strait relations leaned toward "tense or competitive, " ranking the two 6.3 and 6.1 respectively. Asked about the cross-strait diplomatic struggle, 40 percent said China was still Taiwan's biggest rival, 30 percent said the competitiveness was waning, 20 percent said the diplomatic battle had ceased, and 10 percent said they had no opinion.
The survey also found that 51 percent of respondents supported maintaining the status quo in cross-strait relations, with 16 percent saying Taiwan should declare independence as soon as possible and 5 percent advocating speedy unification.
The newspaper said it was the first survey of its kind in which more than half of respondents voiced support for maintaining the status quo. A poll conducted by the paper in 2000 found that 32 percent of respondents supported the status quo, with 12 percent calling for a declaration of independence and 9 percent supporting unification.
The survey also asked people their views of China's government and people. Thirty-three percent of respondents had a positive impression of China's government, while 54 percent gave a negative response. As for Chinese people, 38 percent of respondents were positive and 47 were negative.
The survey was conducted between Aug. 20-26, with 1,871 Taiwanese adults contacted randomly by telephone. Of those, 1,001 agreed to participate in the poll.
(By Elizabeth Hsu)




Updated : 2021-07-24 13:57 GMT+08:00