China has higher favorable than unfavorable rating in Taiwan: poll

More Taiwanese see China in a favorable than unfavorable light, but nearly 80 percent of the public disapprove of China's recent actions, including enticing Burkina Faso to cut formal ties with Taiwan, according to a survey released Sunday

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Taipei, June 17 (CNA) More Taiwanese see China in a favorable than unfavorable light, but nearly 80 percent of the public disapprove of China's recent actions, including enticing Burkina Faso to cut formal ties with Taiwan, according to a survey released Sunday.

The survey, conducted by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, found China with a 48.8 percent favorability rating among respondents and a 43.9 percent unfavorability rating, the first time a majority of respondents in the annual poll saw China favorably.

Foundation Chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said he was surprised and even stunned by the results, given that nearly 80 percent of respondents in a separate survey released by the foundation expressed disapproval of China's hostile moves toward Taiwan recently.

They included luring away Burkina Faso, which switched allegiance to China last month, and demanding that international airlines list Taiwan as a part of China.

You attributed the results to multiple factors, including China's soft power campaign and Taiwan's economic stagnation in recent years.

He suggested the results could be because Taiwanese have developed Stockholm syndrome toward China.

Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.

The survey asked respondents their views of 10 countries or regions surveyed, and the ones with the highest favorability ratings were Singapore (88.2 percent), Japan (84.6 percent) and Canada (82.3 percent).

They were followed by the European Union, the United States, South Korea, Russia, China, the Philippines and North Korea.

The three most unpopular countries were North Korea (70.9 percent), the Philippines (52.9 percent) and China (43.9 percent).

In terms of net favorability (favorability rate minus unfavorability rate) Singapore topped the list, followed by Canada, Japan, the EU, the U.S., South Korea, Russia, China, the Philippines and North Korea.

Compared with last year, North Korea's unfavorability and strong unfavorability ratings were down 10.7 and 20 percentage points, respectively, a result You said was affected by the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12.

The survey, conducted from June 11 to 12, collected 1,073 valid responses from adults around Taiwan. It had a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.