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Majority of Taiwanese now want independence amid Ukraine war

Taiwanese wanting independence rose by 7.5% to 52.8% after Russia's invasion of Ukraine

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(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In a new poll released on Tuesday (April 26), over 52% of respondents said they want de jure independence for Taiwan amid the Russo-Ukrainian War, a significant increase over the previous survey taken before Russia invaded Ukraine.

In the latest survey by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF, 台灣民意基金會), participants were asked whether they prefer "Taiwan independence" or "cross-strait unification." In response, 52.8% opted for Taiwan independence, 11% for cross-strait unification, and 22.4% for maintaining the status quo.

More specifically, 26.8% insist on Taiwan independence, 26% approve of but do not insist on Taiwan independence, 22.4% wish to maintain the status quo, 9% favor but do not insist on cross-strait unification, and 2% insist on cross-strait unification.

TPOF Chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said that since the previous survey conducted in December, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, subtle changes have occurred in Taiwanese public opinion. The percentage who support independence has risen by 7.5 points, while backing for cross-strait unification has dropped by five percentage points and preference for maintaining the status quo has increased by 5.5 percentage points.

You asserted that this means the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war will to a considerable extent strengthen the will and determination of the Taiwanese to pursue independence in the future. He pointed out that if 7.5 percentage points are converted into numbers of people, it represents about 1.5 million Taiwanese, "which is not to be taken lightly."

In addition, the survey asked respondents to answer the question "Do you think you are Taiwanese, Chinese, or something else?" Of those polled, 80.1% consider themselves Taiwanese, 5.3% Chinese, 10.2% a dual identity of "both Taiwanese and Chinese"; 4.4% were not sure about their identity.

The survey was conducted for the TPOF by Focus Survey Research (山水民意研究公司) from April 17-19. The poll gathered valid responses via telephone from 1,071 adults 20 and over and had a sampling error of plus or minus 2.99% with a confidence level of 95%.