Majority of Taiwanese support official contact with China: poll
CNATAIPEI -- More than 60 percent of Taiwanese back official contact between the two countries either side of the Taiwan Strait, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, citing the results of a poll it commissioned.
October 22, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
In the Oct. 11-13 telephone survey, 67.6 percent of respondents gave a thumbs-up to direct official contacts across the Taiwan Strait, the Cabinet-level council said.
Over two-thirds (72.7 percent) felt that a mechanism enabling regular direct communication and interaction between the MAC and its Chinese counterpart, the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) under China's State Council, would boost cross-strait rapprochement and relations.
An almost identical proportion, 72.6 percent, approved of former Vice President Vincent Siew's performance at the 2013 Leaders' Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, saying it had contributed to Taiwan's bids to join regional economic integration and increase participation in international organizations.
The poll also found that 62.8 percent of respondents were pleased to see the MAC and the TAO arrange for Siew to meet with China's President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Bali earlier this month.
At present, Taiwan and China do not have formal government-to-government contacts, instead communicating through intermediary bodies — Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits. The two groups would have arranged the meeting between Siew and Xi in the past, but the roles of the MAC and TAO this year broke precedent.
In addition, over half of the poll's respondents (56.5 percent) described MAC chief Wang Yu-chi and TAO head Zhang Zhijun addressing each other by their official titles at the APEC forum as marking a new milestone in cross-strait engagement.
While 60.7 percent of respondents supported a proposal that Wang visit China, 68.3 percent backed the suggestion that Zhang visit Taiwan.
Around two-thirds (67.8 percent) said regular meetings between them would be conducive to the development of cross-strait relations.
The poll, conducted by Taiwan Real Survey Co., collected 1,091 valid samples, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.97 percent and a confidence level of 95 percent.