Most Taiwanese people are against China’s “one Country, two Systems” policy, according to a new poll commissioned by the island’s Mainland Affairs Council.
Key findings: The poll, which was conducted by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center, surveyed 1,072 Taiwanese residents from Nov. 10 to Nov. 14. It found that 85.6% oppose the Deng Xiaoping-era policy, which seeks to reunify Taiwan with mainland China.
- The poll revealed that 84.9% supported maintaining the status quo between Taiwan and China, according to Taipei Times. A smaller 6.8% said Taiwan should declare independence as soon as possible, while 1.6% expressed support for reunification.
- The survey also showed that 77.1% believe China is “unfriendly” toward Taiwan, while 9% feel otherwise. The council said that on the flipside, 57.9% of Chinese people think Taiwan is “unfriendly,” while 29.1% believe otherwise.
- The poll also asked about President Tsai Ing-wen’s Double Ten National Day address, in which she promised to resist infringement of Taiwan’s sovereignty, among other commitments. Around 77.1% supported her views, while 12.3% opposed them.
- The survey’s results are consistent with those from an August poll released by the Taiwan New Constitution Foundation. In it, 36% of respondents said they will fight for Taiwan in the event of a war, while 28.3% said they probably would and 12.7% said they would not.
- In the U.S., a survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs showed that the majority of Americans (69%) support the recognition of Taiwan as an independent nation. Around 65% supported Taiwan’s inclusion in international organizations, while 53% supported a formal alliance between the U.S. and the island.
Calls for invasion: While the vast majority of Taiwanese people prefer keeping things as they are, ultranationalists in mainland China are reportedly calling for an immediate strike on the island. This week, a Weibo discussion page titled “Unification by force” has attracted more than 2.3 billion views, according to the South China Morning Post.
- Speculation of an imminent war against Taiwan gained traction in mainland China earlier this month after the Ministry of Commerce urged households to stock up on necessities and ordered local governments to stabilize food costs for the winter. The announcement led to a quick panic buying period in some Chinese cities.
- On the day of the announcement, searches for the word “Taiwan” and “war” significantly increased on Baidu, China’s version of Google. The volume of such searches has since toned down, but typing the Chinese word for “will” still leads to the suggested search result “Will there be a war?”
- China’s own words and actions in the Taiwan Strait appear to have fueled the ultranationalists’ fervor. But while they are determined to seize the “breakaway province” at any cost, some believe that the decision to go to war will solely be the government’s to make. “The discussion about unification by force exists because Beijing allows for it,” Yun Sun, a senior fellow and co-director of the East Asia Program and the director of the China Program at the Stimson Center, told SCMP. “But the determining factor of whether to use force on Taiwan is not really about public opinion — it’s about whether Beijing can succeed, and do so at a relatively low cost.”
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