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Dec 29. 2009, No. 098

  • Date:2009-12-29

Over 60 percent of the public endorse the view that cross-strait institutionalized negotiations are conducive to the orderly development of cross-strait relations

A public opinion survey commissioned by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) after the smooth conclusion of the Fourth Chiang-Chen Talks indicates a high level of public support for cross-strait institutionalized negotiations. About 68 percent of the public believe that institutionalized negotiations are conducive to maintaining peaceful and stable cross-strait relations, and 65 percent of the public approve of holding continued cross-strait negotiations. About 63 percent of the public also agree that the establishment of communication channels between the competent authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait is conducive to handling issues arising from cross-strait exchanges.

When it comes to the negotiations on the "avoidance of double taxation" during the talks, the two sides have failed to sign an agreement in this regard because of a few “technical” problems. According to the survey data, 58 percent of the public support the government's decision to delay the signing of the tax agreement.

As to the issues to be discussed during the next round of negotiations, including "intellectual property rights protection" and the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), 73 percent and 55 percent of the public express their support, respectively.

The MAC indicates that, in view of the high level of public support for institutionalized negotiations, the government's approach of adhering to the principles of openness and transparency, fully respecting public opinion, and broadening domestic consensus in the course of cross-strait negotiations conforms to the expectations of public opinion. Cross-strait institutionalized negotiations also further promote the benign and orderly development of cross-strait relations and have a positive promotional function in upholding the rights, interests and welfare of the people on both sides. The government will continue to carry out cross-strait dialogue and negotiations on the basis of equality and dignity.

In addition to the negotiation issues, the survey also inquired about the public's views on cross-strait topics long observed by the MAC. Regarding people's position on unification vs. independence, the great majority of the public (88 percent) advocate "maintaining the status quo defined in a broader sense," including a rising percentage (30 percent) advocating "maintaining the status quo indefinitely." Moreover, the largest percentage of the public (41 percent) think the current pace of cross-strait exchanges is “just right,” higher than the percentages saying it is "too fast" (35 percent) or "too slow" (14 percent), respectively.

The MAC commissioned the Center for Public Opinion and Public Policy at the Taipei Municipal University of Education to conduct a telephone survey of adults aged 20 and over in the Taiwan Area from December 25 to 27, 2009. A total of 1,092 effective samples were collected, with a sampling error of about 3 percent based on a 95 percent confidence level.

Appendix Ι: Summarized Results of the Public Opinion Survey on the Outcome of the Fourth Chiang-Chen Talks (December 25-27, 2009)

Appendix ΙI: Percentage Distribution of the Public Opinion Survey on the "Outcome of the Fourth Chiang-Chen Talks" (December 25-27, 2009)