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September 24, 2017

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Over 30% confident in Tsai leadership: survey

TAIPEI -- More than 30 percent of Taiwanese people have confidence in opposition Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen's ability to address the urgent problems facing Taiwan, including a slow economy and the bitter competition between political parties, a survey has found.

According to the results of an annual survey conducted by CommonWealth Magazine, one of Taiwan's leading magazines, 41 percent of the respondents chose a sluggish economy as the biggest crisis facing Taiwan, followed by the malicious political struggle between various parties (32.4 percent) and a widening wealth gap (12.2 percent). The results were similar to last year's poll, according to the magazine.

Asked to name the issue that needs to be immediately addressed, 45.5 percent chose the improvement in economic strength, 16.5 percent chose improvement in education, 13.9 percent chose narrowing the wealth gap, and 13.4 percent chose ensuring food safety, the survey found.

The annual survey also gauged the public's support for each of the three candidates in the presidential race on Jan. 16.

Asked which candidate will be more capable of resolving the urgent issues facing Taiwan, 32.9 percent of respondents chose Tsai, with 14.5 percent choosing Eric Chu, chairman and presidential candidate of the ruling Kuomintang, and 12.9 percent choosing James Soong, the presidential candidate of the minority People First Party, the survey showed.

What is more noteworthy is that nearly 40 percent of the respondents did not give a definitive answer to the question, meaning they have yet to decide on the candidate they would support, the magazine said.

On the economic issue, about 80 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the country's economic performance, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, about 60 percent felt pessimistic about the future of Taiwan, the results showed.

On the issue of politics, nearly 90 percent said they were dissatisfied with the performance of legislators, it said.

Regarding political relations across the Taiwan Strait, about 50 percent of the respondents said they supported maintaining the status quo, while 29.2 percent supported Taiwan's independence if it comes with peaceful relations with China, according to the survey.

The survey also found that 62.3 percent of the respondents were worried about Taiwan's economic overreliance on China.

The telephone survey was conducted between Dec. 9-15 and collected 1,084 effective samples aged over 20. It had a confidence level of 95 percent, and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points.

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