MAC poll shows majority back cross-strait status quo

Nearly 90 percent of people in Taiwan support the government's stance that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should respect each other, set aside differences through communication and dialogue, and maintain the status quo of cross-strait peace and stability, according to poll results released June 8 by the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council.

Nearly 86 percent of respondents said that mainland China should respect the democratic system and public opinion in Taiwan as this will foster the long-term development of cross-strait relations. A total of 86.3 percent said that Taipei and Beijing should promote benign exchanges and cooperation, with the rights and welfare of people on both sides taking priority in cross-strait dealings.

More than 80 percent of respondents said they believe that mainland China should acknowledge the existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

A total of 73.4 percent said they disagreed with Beijing's political premise that both sides of the strait belong to one China as well as its actions to degrade Taiwan's status. And almost 84 percent see continuous actions by mainland China to suppress Taiwan's international space as damaging its rights.

With regard to the detention of ROC national Lee Ming-che in mainland China, 68.1 percent said that Beijing's failure to disclose details of the case, notify authorities in Taiwan and allow visits by Lee's family members violate the rights of the people of Taiwan.

In terms of admitting mainland Chinese students enrolled at institutions in Taiwan to the National Health Insurance system, 71 percent said they support the government's proposed policy permitting them to join the program by paying full premiums without government subsidies�the same treatment accorded to their foreign peers and overseas Taiwanese.

As to the pace of cross-strait exchanges, 31.3 percent said it is adequate, while 6.7 percent and 45 percent see it as moving too fast and too slow, respectively.

According to the MAC, Beijing continues to unilaterally create political barriers blockading exchanges and obstructing Taiwan's international participation while avoiding communication. This situation has damaged the rights and well-being of the Taiwan people and bodes ill for the development of cross-strait ties, it added.

Respect and understanding are the keys to promoting the two-way relationship, the MAC stated, calling on mainland China to recognize and respond to public opinion in Taiwan. The council also urged Beijing to provide a clear and reasonable response concerning Lee's detention to demonstrate its respect for the rule of law and his basic human rights.

Conducted June 2-6 by the Election Study Center of Taipei City-based National Chengchi University, the telephone poll involved 1,076 adults nationwide with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percent and a 95 percent confidence level.

Source: Taiwan Today