China

Majority Of Taiwanese Approve Of Government Anti-China Policy, Poll Says

800px-xi_jinping_and_tsai_ing-wen_20160316

(VOA / Wikimedia Commons)

The vast majority of Taiwanese voters approve of the current administration’s policy towards China, according to a recent poll.

66.7% of Taiwanese approve of the government’s cross-strait policy, while only 24.9% disapprove. The poll was conducted by Taiwan Era Think Tank, a think tank affiliated with the current ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

In 2016 DPP’s candidate Ts’ai Ying-wen won 56.12% of the vote, soundly defeating the pro-China Guomindang (Chinese Nationalist Party). The Guomindang suffered an electoral backlash after alienating voters by pursuing a policy of rapprochement with China.

The poll shows that 68.8% of respondents are satisfied with Premier Lai Ch’ing-teh’s job performance, with only 23% disapproving. Lai recently made a pro-independence speech in parliament, defying Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Only 49.7% of respondents said they were satisfied with the job done so far by President Ts’ai Ying-wen, and 45.1% said they were not satisfied with her job performance. This suggests that an overwhelming majority of the Taiwanese electorate agrees with the administration’s China-policy but there is less consensus on its domestic agenda.

Beijing insists that Taiwan is part of China and the two sides must be ‘reunified’, if necessary by force. Both the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Guomindang adhere to the so-called ‘1992 consensus‘, according to which there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of it. The DPP rejects this principle and pursues a Taiwan-centric policy of de facto independence.

In a recent statement Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which is responsible for unofficial relations with mainland China, has rebuffed Beijing’s calls for improving cross-strait ties on the basis of the ‘1992 consensus.’

The Mainland Affairs Council reiterated that “the government and 23 million Taiwan people firmly believe in the defence of the nation’s sovereignty, dignity and democratic system.”

The statement condemned the Communist authorities for trying to force Taiwan to accept the ‘one China principle’ by isolating Taiwan on the international arena, humiliating it and pushing it towards confrontation. It emphasized that both sides must co-operate and that peace also depends on China’s willingness to respect the opinions and concerns of the people in Taiwan.

“Maintaining positive cross-strait interaction is a bilateral responsibility, it cannot take place under conditions of surrender brought about by political pressure. This is not a fair and just method,” the statement said.

The  Council also rejected Beijing’s plan to incorporate Taiwan into the PRC under the ‘one country, two systems‘ formula used for Hong Kong and Macau.



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