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United Daily News: Rise in support for status quo

According to the results of an annual survey released Wednesday by the United Daily News, 55 percent of the respondents are in favor of maintaining the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo in perpetuity. The figure, which represents an increase of 8 percentage points from last year, is the highest level recorded since the survey began six years ago. By comparison, respondents in favor of "rapid independence" or "gradual independence" dropped to a combined 28 percent, down from a peak of 34 percent recorded in the wake of last year's Sunflower Movement protests. There is of course room for the opposition and ruling camps to freely interpret this change. President Ma Ying-jeou (???) can say that the outcome demonstrates that people want to maintain the peaceful cross-strait status quo achieved over the past seven years of his administration. On the other hand, Tsai Ing-wen (???), chairwoman and presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), can say that her promise to maintain the status quo has gradually won the trust of the people. Ma, however, should reflect on why pro-independence voices would soar during his second term and why the trend did not reverse until this year. Tsai, meanwhile, should ponder why people feel that the DPP's possible return to power will be more likely to cause cross-strait tension than other factors such as China's military threat and Beijing's pursuit of unification. In other words, because people realize that Tsai is likely to become the next president, their desire to maintain the stable status quo becomes firmer. For Beijing, its efforts to close the gap between the two sides of the strait have obviously been unsuccessful. Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) should seriously promote the harder goal of "building a bridge between the hearts and souls" of the people on both sides of the strait. For the DPP, although the party has moved closer to mainstream public opinion, Tsai needs to honestly return to the political basis built on the Republic of China and the "1992 consensus." For the low-spirited ruling Kuomintang, its efforts to improve cross-strait relations over the past seven years are about to go down the drain. If the leading figures in the party do not pull themselves together, how can they respond to people's expectations for stability? (Editorial abstract -- Sept. 17, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-19 08:06 GMT+08:00