Tsai’s cross-strait policy has nearly 50% backing: survey

The cross-Taiwan Strait policy of President Tsai Ing-wen (???) has received the support of nearly 50 percent of respondents in a survey by the Taiwan Brain Trust (TBT) think tank.

Some 49.4 percent of respondents supported the policy, which includes not recognizing the "1992 consensus" adopted by the previous Ma Ying-jeou (???) government, while 25.5 percent opposed it and 25.1 percent had no comment, according to the poll results released Friday.

A total of 39.6 percent of respondents said there was no need to first recognize the consensus before rekindling interactions between the two sides of the strait, while 31.3 percent felt the consensus should be recognized.

Ma's government saw the "1992 consensus" as a tacit agreement reached between Taipei and Beijing in 1992 that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret what that means.

Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has never accepted the consensus, and she has maintained that position since taking office on May 20.

In response, Beijing has suspended all official contacts with Taipei and tried to put economic and political pressure on Taiwan to get the government to change its position.

Not surprisingly, the survey found that most respondents who felt it was not necessary for Tsai to recognize the consensus are supporters of the DPP and smaller New Power Party, while most holding the opposite view are Kuomintang (KMT) supporters.

Wu Shih-chang (???), general manager of the Trend Survey and Research Co., said the figures indicate that people in Taiwan are not giving in to China's suppression.

But because the survey also found that more people today think the "1992 consensus" must be recognized than when Tsai took office, it could mean China's approach may be starting to have an impact, Wu said.

The TBT survey also found that 75.8 percent of respondents saw Taiwan as an sovereign, independent country, while 18.9 percent did not.

In terms of Taiwan-China relations, 79.8 percent favored the status quo, 12.5 percent wanted independence as quickly as possible, 3.4 percent hoped for reunification and 4.3 percent had no comment.

The survey was conducted from Oct. 13-14 through telephone interviews with randomly selected people aged 20 or over in 20 counties and cities around Taiwan.

A total of 1,079 valid samples were collected, and the margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The pro-DPP think tank was merged in September by the Ketagalan Foundation, which was founded by former President Chen Shui-bian (???) during his tenure in 2000-2008.

A separate survey by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR) found that 34.9 percent of respondents were satisfied with Tsai's performance, down 2.7 percentage points from its previous poll in early October, while dissatisfaction was up 2 percentage points to 48.4 percent.

The privately-owned TISR has conducted a poll on the performance of Tsai and her administration team every two weeks since late May, and the most recent poll was conducted on Oct. 25-26.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel