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Nov 13, 2008

Taiwanese public opinion

In case you needed some helpful reminders (hint hint, Ma Ying-jeou), the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has the annual poll summary online for 2007, which nicely condenses Taiwanese public opinion on the status of Taiwan vis à vis China, independence and unification.

  • 70-77% of people believe "Taiwan is an independent soverign country."
  • 65% oppose the idea that "Taiwan and China are part of one country and share a common fate."
  • 80% believe Taiwan's future must be decided by Taiwanese, while 76% oppose the idea that it should be decided by Taiwan and China together.
  • 85% support a referendum on any sovereignty-related agreements between Taiwan and China.
  • 78% support having relations with China, but less than 25% can support "One country, two systems" at all.
In addition, in May, Global Vision (遠見雜誌) showed nearly 70% support for the "One China, two interpretations" idea when it is defined as follows:
Our constitution states that "One China" is the ROC, while the Communist Party says "One China" is the PRC. Although we have different stances, as long as both sides can respect the other's principle, we can begin cross-strait discussions.

「我國憲法裡的『一個中國』是中華民國,中共主張『一個中國』是中華人民共和國,雖然立場不同,但是如果彼此願意尊重對方的主張,來進行兩岸談判」
This shows the Taiwanese public is pragmatic; it's almost like double think, that they can agree to hold discussions under a "One China" framework while believing Taiwan is sovereign and independent. But it demonstrates their hope for better relations and their unwillingness to let go of their freedom. It also demonstrates how the language of the media can really shape public opinion.

7 comments:

STOP Ma said...

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The support for the one-China, two interpretations is absolutely alarming!

The rest of the stats are somewhat comforting, but I think this one shows how much lack of thought this entails. I think you have to have a somewhat insular frame of thinking to support this (I prefer insular to pragmatic -- because there is really nothing pragmatic about it, internationally speaking).
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Raj said...

I don't agree, SM. My interpretation of the statement was not that Taiwanese think they're part of China, but that they acknowedge the ROC constitution says that. They were only saying that China and Taiwan should agree to disagree on their relationship.

阿牛 said...

SM/Raj,

I think it would help if surveys asked more questions together and were not so issue driven and explored different angles. But I think I lean toward Raj's take in this case. But as I said, it's a very generously worded survey question. I think it's difficult to argue that the way it's framed in the question is the same as what the Chinese position is in reality.

STOP Ma said...

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Raj / A-gu,

I think you are misunderstanding me.

I don't think the Taiwanese think they are part of China at all. The point I was trying to make was that I think the Taiwanese really don't think it matters whether there is a One-China, 2 interpretations. They think that this will help Taiwan.

Nothing could be further from the truth, IMHO.
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阿牛 said...

SM,

That's a good clarification. Thanks!

Iceman said...

Sadly Prez Ma doesn't care about public opinions. His nose shoved so far up Chinese leader ass...
Looks like he wants to be get in the history books as the one who finally unites Taiwan and China.

阿牛 said...

Iceman,

I don't think Ma has exactly this intention. But I do see that as the likely result.