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MAC: Majority in Taiwan Affirms Meeting between President Ma and the Mainland Leader and Feels this Institutionalized and Normalized Development is Conducive to Consolidating Peace in the Taiwan Strait and Peaceful and Stable Cross-Strait Relations

  • Date:2015-11-13

November 13, 2015
MAC Press Release No. 64

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) today (November 13, 2015) announced the results of its third routine public opinion survey this year. The survey results showed that more than 60% of the public affirm the meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and the Mainland leader and feel that the President's statement of working together to maintain the peaceful status quo in the Taiwan Strait and safeguarding the welfare of the people on both sides of the Strait is conducive to consolidating peace in the Taiwan Strait (64.6%). Results also show that the surveyed public believe that institutionalizing and normalizing meetings between the leaders of the two sides is conducive to long-term peace and stability of cross-strait relations (65.9%).

The MAC stated that President Ma’s meeting with the Mainland leader in Singapore on November 7 was the first meeting between leaders of the two sides in the past 66 years of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait. The survey found that the great majority of the public approve of the holding of the meeting between the leaders of the two sides under the principles of "reciprocity, dignity, openness and transparency" and in the capacities of the "Taiwan leader" and the "Mainland leader" (61.6%), as well as support the approach of not signing any agreements or issuing a joint statement at the meeting (50.9%). The majority also identifies with the government's position on the "1992 Consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations," in which one China means the Republic of China (60.7%) and also supports President Ma's full elaboration of the "1992 Consensus" content during the meeting with the Mainland leader (61.6%).

The MAC further stated that the majority of the public support the five proposals raised by President Ma during the meeting with the Mainland leader to maintain the status quo of cross-strait peace and prosperity. Over 70% of the public support President Ma's advocacy of "reducing hostility and peacefully handling disputes" (75.5%). During the meeting, President Ma also raised the issue of the Mainland’s military deployment against Taiwan. More than 80% of the public support President Ma's clear appeal for the Mainland to acknowledge that security and dignity are major concerns of the Taiwanese people (80.8%), to maintain an attitude of mutual respect, and to understand Taiwan public opinions on the issues of Taiwan's international space and participation in regional economic integration (85%). In addition, more than 60% of the public approve the establishment of a cross-strait hotline between the MAC Minister and the Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) to handle urgent and important issues (64.8%), agree with President Ma's proposal to expand cross-strait exchanges, and hope that the Mainland can pragmatically deal with and achieve substantive progress on pending issues between the two sides (63%).

Regarding other cross-strait issues long observed by the MAC, the MAC indicated that the great majority of the public (88.5%) still support "maintaining the status quo defined in the broader sense," an opinion that has remained highly stable. As for the current pace of cross-strait exchanges, the highest percentage of the public, at 41.5%, believes it to be "just right", followed by the percentages believing the pace to be "too fast" and "too slow," at 25.8% and 19.5%, respectively.

The MAC stated that the government has been firm in its consistent promotion of peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations and the positioning of ties across the Strait according to the ROC Constitution and its additional articles. It has also adhered to the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," and is committed to promoting benign interactions in cross-strait relations based on the "1992 Consensus” of “one China, with respective interpretations," in which one China means the Republic of China. In the future, the government will continue to handle cross-strait relations under the framework of the constitution and respect the free choice of the 23 million Taiwanese people, an approach that enjoys the greatest consensus in Taiwan. The MAC reiterated that the proposals and statements made by President Ma during the meeting between the cross-strait leaders fully demonstrate the ROC's sovereignty and Taiwan's dignity, as well as help the Mainland to understand public opinion in Taiwan. In the future, the government will continue to pragmatically promote the development of institutionalized cross-strait relations and create more favorable conditions for sustainable peace in the Taiwan Strait.

The MAC commissioned the Election Study Center of National Chengchi University to conduct a telephone survey of adults aged 20 and over in Taiwan from November 8 to 11, 2015. A total of 1,077 valid samples were collected with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.99% at a 95% level of confidence.