Talk of the Day -- Nearly half of Taiwanese back Ma-Xi meeting: poll

Nearly half of local people support a proposal that President Ma Ying-jeou meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jin-ping, during his presidency, according to the results of a recent opinion poll. The survey, conducted by the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum (TCF), found that 47 percent of the respondents threw support behind a Ma-Xi meeting during the former's term as president. Only 34 percent gave a thumbs-down to the proposal, according to the poll. The following are excerpts from local media coverage of the survey results and cross-Taiwan Strait issues: China Times: The results of the TCF poll showed that 39 percent of the respondents want to see Ma and Xi refer to each other as president of the Republic of China and president of the People's Republic of China if they actually meet. Meanwhile, 23 percent said it's acceptable if Ma and Xi refer to each other as leader of the Taiwan area and leader of the Chinese mainland area. Ruling Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung described the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as "one country, two areas" during his recent meeting with Xi in Beijing. His description drew criticism from opposition parties, especially pro-independence activists. But the TCF poll found that 55 percent of those interviewed said Wu's reference complies with the country's constitutional prescription as Wu's "one country" refers to the Republic of China -- Taiwan's official title. Only 25 percent of the respondents said Wu's description denigrated Taiwan's sovereign status. Analyzing the survey findings, TCF President Peng Chin-peng said that at a time when all major countries around the world are pursuing market opening, liberalization and globalization, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should refrain from opposing engagements with China as long as such dealings would contribute to Taiwan's development and people's well-being. Citing voting results of previous presidential elections, Peng said the DPP was hurt by its failure to present a clear policy toward Chin. The TCF, a pro-unification think tank, conducted the telephone poll on randomly chosen adults June 25-26 and collected 1,074 valid samples, with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.9 percent. (July 5, 2013). United Daily News: The DPP held the first of a series of brainstorming sessions Thursday aimed at working out its new China policy. Shen Fu-hsiung, a former DPP lawmaker who withdrew from the pro-independence party a few years ago over different views on cross-strait issues, said at the conference that if the DPP wants to return to power, it should hammer out a China policy that is acceptable to the majority of Taiwanese people and tolerable for China. Shen further said only policies that can be implemented and realized are good ones. Political analysts said the DPP should not turn a deaf ear to Shen's remarks if it really wants to return to power. (July 5, 2013). (By Sofia Wu)