TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A survey in the Philippines by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) organization has found that the majority of Filipinos are deeply unsatisfied with the government’s South China Sea policy and the Duterte administration’s perceived appeasement of China.
The survey carried out in late June, and published on July 14 by SWS discovered that four out five Philippine adults (81 percent) are unhappy with their government’s lack of action in South China Sea disputes with China.
The majority of adult Filipinos think it is wrong to continue allowing China to build structures and militarize artificial islands in Philippine territory.
A majority of respondents also expressed support for the Philippines to strengthen its navy to protect against further encroachment from China.
Among respondents, 53 percent had “little trust” in China, while only 18 percent consider China trustworthy in negotiations. According to Philippine Lifestyle, this reflects a very steep and sudden drop in the “net trust rating” when compared to previous SWS surveys.
In March, Filipinos surveyed yielded a “neutral” +7 rating in March for trust in China, while the most recent survey yielded a remarkable 42 point drop in June resulting in a “bad” -35 rating.
In determining how territorial disputes with China might be resolved, Filipinos are equally in support of bringing that matter to international organizations like the U.N. (74 percent), and of promoting bilateral negotiations directly between Manila and Beijing (73 percent). Meanwhile, 68 percent support asking third party nations to act as mediators.
The SWS survey was carried out from June 27 to June 30, and surveyed 1,200 respondents using face-to-face interviews. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.