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Taiwanese have little fear of war with China: survey

TAIPEI -- There is little fear in Taiwan of war with China, but the island's public has somewhat negative feelings towards the mainland's government and people, a survey published yesterday showed.

On a scale from one to 10, where one means there is no risk whatsoever of war with China and 10 stands for extreme likelihood of war, the average response was 3.2, according to the survey, which was conducted by the United Daily News.

However, 54 percent of the respondents had a negative impression of China's government, describing is as “authoritarian” and “corrupt.” Thirty-three percent had a good impression, calling it “efficient” and “friendly.”

At the same time, 47 percent had unfavorable views about Chinese people, saying they were “uncultured” and “calculating.” Among the 38 percent who liked Chinese people, reasons included that they were “warm” and “diligent.”

The survey comes more than two years after the Beijing-friendly politician Ma Ying-jeou assumed the presidency in Taiwan, promising a better economy through closer ties with the mainland.

While relations have improved drastically under Ma, Beijing still maintains that the island, ruled separately since 1949, is part of China and that reunification must eventually take place, even if it means war.

The paper carried out the interviews from August 20 to 26, obtaining replies from a total of 1,001 respondents via telephone, the paper said.

It said the margin of error was three percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

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