Majority of Americans for Taiwan Independence

Washington, 19 June 1997

On June 16th, 1997 , the Wall Street Journal published the results of an opinion poll conducted by the Asian Wall Street Journal and the Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

The survey was held at the end of May 1997 among 1204 American and 1200 Japanese adults, and was primarily meant to gauge American and Japanese opinions about relations with China on the eve of Hong Kong's handover.

Interestingly, the poll found that nearly two out of three people surveyed -- 60% of the Americans and 64% of the Japanese -- would support recognizing Taiwan as an independent country.

The poll also found that 38 % of Americans think that advancing human rights ought to be the primary goal of U.S. policy towards China. Only 28% -- particularly wealthier Americans -- think expanding economic ties should be the top priority.

Most Americans, 57%, and 51% of the Japanese consider it fairly or even very likely that China's ruling Communist Party will collapse in the next 20 years. 51% of the U.S. respondents and 62% of the Japanese also consider it fairly or very unlikely that the human rights situation in China will improve.

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