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Nov 09, 2008, No. 091

  • Date:2008-11-09

MAC public opinion survey: Over 70 percent of the public are satisfied with the agreement and outcome of the "Chiang-Chen Talks"

In order to understand the public’s views on the second "Chiang-Chen Talks," the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) today announced the results of its latest public opinion in this regard. The survey indicated that over 70 percent of the public support the institutionalized mechanism for negotiations across the Taiwan Strait. Between 70 and 80 percent of the public also feel satisfied with the four agreements signed during the latest round of cross-strait talks, and over 60 percent of the public believe the concrete results of the talks will have a positive impact on Taiwan's economic development. In addition, a considerable majority (67 percent) of the public disagree with the statement that Chairman Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan will undermine Taiwan's national dignity.

The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) concluded their first round of negotiations in Taipei last week. The talks resulted in the signing of four agreements between the two sides on air transportation, sea transportation, postal service cooperation and food safety. The public opinion survey indicated that the people of Taiwan highly welcome the four agreements, which can make cross-strait contacts more convenient, faster and less costly. Over 80 percent of the public are satisfied with the establishment of the new direct air routes for cross-strait charter flights, direct shipping, and postal service cooperation.

As for the mode of cross-strait negotiations, the survey indicated that 68 percent of the public believe that under the current SEF-ARATS framework, the negotiation mode in which the responsible government agencies actually participate in the talks and officials of both sides hold direct dialogue is conducive to resolving cross-strait exchange issues. Moreover, 75 percent of the public support the continuation of the negotiation mode of this kind.

The MAC survey also inquired about the public’s views on the issues to be discussed during the next round of negotiations. According to the survey, the issues that the public show more concerns as well as hope an agreement can be reached are, in descending order: the order of cross-strait exchanges (75 percent), cross-strait investment cooperation (57 percent), cross-strait industrial cooperation (51 percent), cross-strait financial cooperation (46 percent) and cross-strait cultural, education and media exchanges and cooperation (44 percent). This indicates that the public has higher expectations for issues pertaining to public health and the order of exchanges, such as joint crackdown on crime, mutual judicial assistance, and expansion of food safety cooperation.

During the survey announcement forum, MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu stated that the focus of the latest negotiation round was on daily life and economic issues related to the welfare, rights and interests of the people. The government also adhered to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" in planning the talks, with the aim of promoting benefits for the people and creating together a win-win solution for both sides. The results of the public opinion survey showed a high level of public support for the second "Chiang-Chen Talks." Based on this groundwork, the MAC will continue to work hard to ensure that the negotiations can produce the greatest possible benefits, as well as further increase the welfare of the Taiwanese people and contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The MAC commissioned Burke Marketing Research Ltd. to conduct a telephone survey of adults aged 20 and over in the Taiwan Area from November 5 to 8, 2008. A total of 1,067 effective samples were collected, with a sampling error of about three percent based on a 95 percent confidence level.