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June 27, 2017

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Most Taiwanese see cross-strait ties worse over past year: poll

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- According to a poll published Wednesday by the Chinese-language Want Daily, 63.5 percent of the respondents in Taiwan think that cross-Taiwan Strait relations have worsened since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office on May 20 last year, while 17.7 percent said that cross-strait relations have been almost the same as before Tsai's inauguration.

In terms of the development of relations between Taiwan and China, 40.9 percent said the two sides will maintain the status quo across the strait, while 22.9 percent said Taiwan and China will first maintain the status quo and then move toward unification, and 18.5 percent said the status quo will be maintained before Taiwan moves toward independence, according to the poll.

Meanwhile, 54.8 percent of those polled said that Tsai's rejection of the "1992 consensus" denotes her failure to honor her promise to maintain the cross-strait status quo, compared with 32.2 percent who said Tsai has kept her promise on the matter.

The poll also shows that 62.4 percent of the respondents think Taiwan's international space has been getting increasingly limited since Tsai was sworn in, while 15.6 percent said it has been expanded.

At the same time, 44.8 percent said the government's strategic alignment with the United States and Japan against China could be disadvantageous to Taiwan, while 24.9 percent said it will be beneficial to Taiwan and 20.5 percent said it will have no impact.

It found that 49.2 percent think that the halt of official exchanges between Taiwan and China after Tsai assumed the presidency last May has had a negative impact on Taiwan, compared with 26.5 percent who said no impact has been caused and 17.0 percent who believe it has had a positive impact.

Meanwhile, 56.2 percent said that the suspension of negotiations on cross-strait trade in services and trade in goods agreements has had a negative impact, while 20.2 percent said no impact has been caused and 14.8 percent said a positive impact has been created.

The poll also found that 48.5 percent said that a drop in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan has had a negative impact on Taiwan, while 22.9 percent said it has had a positive impact and 21.9 percent said it has had no impact.

The survey was conducted from May 8-9 among 810 respondents in Taiwan to mark the first anniversary of Tsai's presidency. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

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