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Taiwanese back government support for Hong Kong people: survey

ROC Central News Agency

2019/08/01 19:52:05

Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) Just over six out of ten Taiwanese back the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration's support for Hong Kong demonstrators demanding democracy and freedom, a recent survey commissioned by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) showed Thursday.

The survey, conducted from July 25-29, indicated that 64.7 percent of respondents supported Taiwan's government standing with Hong Kong people calling for freedom, rule of law and human rights at a recent spate of rallies in the Chinese Special Administrative Region.

Only 22.6 percent did not agree with the government position and another 12.6 percent expressed no opinion.

Hong Kong residents held a huge rally on June 9 to protest a draft anti-extradition bill which would allow the Hong Kong authorities to extradite criminal suspects to Taiwan, Macau and China. The protest, which claimed to have over 1 million attendees, has since widened into a weekly mass movement calling for democracy and the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

President Tsai and high-ranking officials in Taiwan have issued statements in support of Hong Kong people's aspiration for democracy. Even Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT), seen by many as a more China-friendly political party, has denounced the Hong Kong government's handling of the rallies.

Meanwhile, the MAC survey also found that 88.7 percent of Taiwanese rejected the "one country, two systems" framework proposed by Beijing as a future model for cross-strait relations, an increase of more than 10 percentage points from the 79 percent recorded in a similar survey in March.

"The Republic of China is a sovereign state. The 'one country, two systems' framework is filled with lies and illusions," MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said at a press conference on Thursday, slamming Beijing's political maneuver as anti-democratic, anti-peace and undermining cross-strait peace.

The survey was undertaken by the Election Study Center of National Chengchi University and commissioned by MAC, with an effective sample size of 1,095 Taiwanese citizens above 20 years old, a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.96 percentage points.

Nearly nine out of ten (87.3 percent) Taiwanese preferred the "status quo" regarding cross-strait relations, according to the survey, with only 1.7 percent wanting immediate unification and 4.8 percent hoping for a declaration of independence at the earliest possible time; the remaining 6.1 percent had no comment on the issue.

Furthermore, 65.5 percent of respondents considered Beijing unfriendly toward Taiwan's government, and 51.4 percent considered China unfriendly to Taiwanese people. The figures represented a jump from the 60.9 percent and the 45.6 percent recorded in March.

(By Emerson Lim)

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