Taiwan’s people should decide its future


Most people responding to a recent opinion poll said “Taiwan’s future should be decided by the Taiwan people,” instead of by people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, pollsters said yesterday.

The telephone poll was conducted by the Taiwan Thinktank, a Taipei-based non-profit public policy research organization, between March 9 and 13 on randomly selected adult people from around the country to explore their views on China’s so-called “Anti-Secession Law” ahead of the second anniversary of the law’s passage March 14.

A total of 1,064 valid samples were collected in the survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The survey showed that 91.2 percent of the respondents were opposed to China’s enactment of the Anti-Secession Law in an attempt to change the state quo between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait while only 3.8 percent said they accepted it.

A total of 80.7 percent of the respondents said they will never accept the law’s stipulation that Taiwan and China will have to be unified eventually, while only 11.9 percent said that the stipulation is acceptable.

Meanwhile, 79.5 percent said that only the Taiwan people have the right to decide Taiwan’s future, while 14.5 percent said the decision should be jointly made by the people of Taiwan and China.

Sixty-three percent of the respondents said they feel that Beijing has increased its suppression of Taiwan politically and diplomatically in the international community since adopting the Anti-Secession Law, while 17.8 percent said nothing has changed since the law’s passage, and 6.4 percent said Beijing appears more relaxed in dealing with Taiwan issues.

In terms of military threat, 56.4 percent said they think the threat from China has become “much more severe” over the past two years. As to the Anti-Secession Law’s impact on exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, 47.2 percent said it has had a negative impact, 33 percent said it has had no impact at all, and 9.1 percent said it has had a positive effect.

In terms of Taiwan’s participation in international affairs, 94.9 percent of the respondents said that Taiwan should join the World Health Organization, while 1.4 percent said it should not join.

On whether Taiwan should apply to join the United Nations under the name “Taiwan,” 79.9 percent agreed with the notion, while 13.4 percent said they oppose the idea.

The survey also showed that 81.9 percent believe that China has no right to interfere in Taiwan’s internal affairs, including the ongoing “name rectification” movement and constitutional reform drive, while 12.8 percent said China has the right to do so.

On China’s actively making contacts with Taiwan’s opposition parties while refusing to hold direct talks with the popularly elected government since the passage of the Anti Secession Law, 67.1 percent of the respondents said they disapprove of Beijing’s manner of engaging Taiwan, while 13.3 percent said they accept it.