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Taiwan needs to remove 'Republic of China' from Constitution: Pollster

The term 'ROC' no longer corresponds with mainstream public opinion: Ying-lung You

TPOF Chairman Ying-lung You (YouTube photo) 

TPOF Chairman Ying-lung You (YouTube photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Prominent pollster Ying-lung You (游盈隆) has stated that the term “Republic of China” (ROC) used in the Constitution no longer reflects political reality and that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should act to have it removed.

According to a new survey by You’s Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF), 83.4 percent of poll respondents over the age of 20 see the Republic of China as including Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other outlying islands in the South China Sea, while only 8.4 percent also consider all of China to be part of the ROC.

A similar poll conducted by You in 1995 saw 45.9 percent considering the "Republic of China" as just Taiwan's main island and outlying islands, while 32.5 percent believed the ROC also included China.

A noticeable change can also be seen in how the public defines a "Republic of China citizen." In 1995, 48 percent of poll respondents considered Taiwan’s then 21 million inhabitants as being the only Republic of China citizens, while 32.7 percent also included the 1.2 billion people in China.

The recent survey shows that 86.9 percent regard the 23.5 million Taiwanese as the only Republic Of China citizens, while those who include China’s 1.4 billion people have dwindled to 6.8 percent, You said.

The polling expert said the core problem was that the Republic of China Constitution still considers Taiwan and China as two “areas” of one country, a view no longer consistent with mainstream opinion in the nation.

As a result, You called on President Tsai to heed the shift in public opinion and work to amend erroneous policies in a positive way.

The TPOF poll also noted that 46.7 percent of respondents want their country to use the name “Taiwan” to join international organizations. Meanwhile, 22.7 percent would accept “Republic of China – Taiwan,” 17.3 percent desire the term “Republic of China,” and 5.2 percent prefer “Chinese Taipei.”