Referendum about Taiwan Independence or unification should be allowed: poll

Dissatisfaction rife with recent changes to Referendum Act: Taiwan Brain Trust

The Taiwan Brain Trust presenting poll results. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – According to a new opinion poll, a majority of Taiwanese say recent changes to the Referendum Act allow plebiscites about Taiwan’s independence or unification with China and about the drawing up of a new Constitution.

The issues are controversial because China threatens the use of military force if the island heads for formal independence.

The Taiwan Brain Trust (新台灣國策智庫) found a lack of support for the Referendum Act changes, with 43.9 percent expressing disappointment and dissatisfaction, while only 28.4 percent said they approved.

When asked whether the people of Taiwan should be allowed to vote in a referendum about issues like independence, unification and a new Constitution, 54.9 percent replied yes and 31.2 percent said no, the Taiwan Brain Trust announced Thursday.

A similar proportion was found across all age groups, with young people between 20 and 29 voicing the strongest support for such a referendum.

Even 40 percent of supporters of the opposition Kuomintang said they were in favor of a plebiscite on the topic, according to Taiwan Brain Trust executive officer Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the son of former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

He rejected fears that the ability to hold a vote on independence or unification would mean there would immediately be such a referendum, leading to increased tension with China.

The opinion poll was conducted by Trends Survey and Research Co., Ltd. on January 8-9, and found 1,074 valid responses with a margin of error of 3 percent.