Majority of Taiwanese people will defend country facing Chinese Invasion: survey

A foundation publishes surveys about the attitudes of Taiwanese people on the issue of de-jure Taiwan independence every year

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(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — According to a survey released by a Taiwan-based non-profit organization promoting democracy, the majority of the Taiwanese population favors the cross-strait "status quo," which shows that people actually oppose Chinese annexation rather than explicitly supporting de-jure Taiwan independence, reports the Liberty Times.

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TDF) has conducted or commissioned surveys about the attitude of Taiwanese people on the issue of Taiwan independence every year since 2011. 

The latest survey, published by the foundation on Thursday, points out that the majority of the Taiwanese population is in favor of the cross-strait status quo, with the age group 20 to 29 having a higher proportion than the other two groups, age 30 to 39 and above 40.

Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉), president of TDF, referenced the survey result at a talk held by the Washington-based think tank, Global Taiwan Institute, on April 4 and said the majority of young Taiwanese people did not really support de-jure independence of Taiwan.

Instead, young Taiwanese people opposed annexation by China, even though they did have a higher percentage supporting de-jure independence that the other age groups, added Hsu.

In addition, the survey shows that 55 percent of the overall Taiwanese population is willing to defend the country if the announcement of Taiwan independence leads to a Chinese invasion. 

On the other hand, 67.7 percent of the overall population will defend the country against China if Bejing tries to "unify" Taiwan by force, says the survey.

As for attitudes toward the prospect of Taiwan’s democratic system, a little more than 50 percent of Taiwanese people feel pessimistic, even though nearly 80 percent of the entire population believes democracy is the most favorable political system.

The latest survey was conducted by the Election Study Center of National Chengchi University from January 12 to 19. There were 1,069 valid samples taken in the first part and 528 in the second part with 95 percent confidence intervals and three standard deviations.

TFD was established in 2003 as a non-partisan and non-profit organization. It was originally organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is currently chaired by Legislative Yuan Speaker Su Chia-chyuan (蘇嘉全).