Pro-independence on the rise in Taiwan

Taipei, 11 July 1997

An opinion poll in Taiwan, conducted just after Hong Kong's absorbtion by Beijing, showed that the percentage of the Taiwanese population in favor of formal independence is rising fast. In a public opinion survey conducted by the United Daily News on 1-2 July 1997 among 949 respondents in Taiwan, a record 43 percent said they would opt for independence. In a poll conducted in January of this year, only 34 percent said they favored independence.

It was the first time in the history of the poll, which has been conducted by the pro-unification newspaper since 1989, that the percentage favoring independence outstripped the pro-unification sentiment, which is still the formal policy of the Kuomintang authorities.

When given the additional choice of "maintaining the status quo", 43 percent said they wanted to see things stay unchanged. The report remarked, though, that many people on the island maintain that the status quo is de facto independence.

The poll also showed that when asked about their personal identity, more than half said they regarded themselves as Taiwanese, while only 30 percent identified themselves as Chinese -- a major set-back for the Nationalists of the Kuomintang, who have been emphasizing that the people on Taiwan are "Chinese."

The poll also showed that the people on the island outright reject the "One Country, Two Systems" formula touted by the Beijing regime.

Back to: News and Current Events