MAC survey shows majority support benign cross-strait ties

The majority of people in Taiwan support the maintaining of positive cross-strait relations by setting aside differences and increasing positive interactions and dialogue, according to poll results released May 18 by the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council.

A total of 83.9 percent of respondents said that both sides should share the responsibility of maintaining constructive relations and refrain from intimidating actions that do not promote peace. Nearly 69 percent said they support President Tsai Ing-wen's cross-strait policy of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Approximately 76 percent of those surveyed said they back efforts the administration has taken over the past year in calling for more cross-strait dialogue.

When asked about Taiwan's exclusion from this year's World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, 70.7 percent of respondents said they support the government's response of strong dissatisfaction. Nearly 82 percent said political interference from mainland China that led to Taiwan's exclusion from the WHA was not conducive to maintaining friendly cross-strait ties.

The majority of people surveyed, 82.2 percent, said they agree with government efforts in garnering global support for participation in international organizations and their activities.

Taiwan will continue to maintain national dignity, defend its right to be a part of the international community and pursue the sustainable development of cross-strait ties in accordance with the people's will, MAC Minister Chang Hsiao-yueh said while announcing the poll results at a news conference in Taipei City.

The survey showed 83 percent of respondents believe mainland China should express goodwill and show flexibility as well as seek opportunities for collaboration with Taiwan to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Nearly 78 percent also feel that cross-strait relations are not dictated unilaterally by any one side and that both sides should actively display goodwill in developing ties.

A peaceful and mutually beneficial relationship between the two sides is key to maintaining regional peace and security, the MAC said in a statement. It added that such ties are in line with the wishes of the people of Taiwan and mainland China as well as the international community.

In the face of the changing international climate, we believe both sides should exercise wisdom, innovative thinking and goodwill to ensure the well-being of the people, the council said. Both sides should find new ways to establish mutually beneficial collaborative relations to safeguard stability across the Taiwan Strait and throughout the region, it added.

This most recent poll echoes an earlier MAC survey in which a majority of respondents said the two sides share a responsibility to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The respondents in the previous poll, which was conducted in January, also said they supported benign exchanges between Taiwan and mainland China, and that both sides should commit to dialogue and reciprocal official visits.

Conducted May 15-17 by New Taipei City-based Taiwan Real Survey Co., the telephone poll involved 1,071 adults nationwide with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percent and a 95 percent confidence level.

Source: Taiwan Today