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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Yahoo News - Asia-Pacific - Asia Pulse -Poll: 40 percent of Taiwanese favor independence, 25 percent support China unification

AFP · AP · Asia Pulse · Reuters · Channel NewsAsia · Kyodo

Thursday August 12, 8:37 PM
Poll: 40 percent of Taiwanese favor independence, 25 percent support China unification
A media poll reported Thursday that 40 percent of Taiwanese said they would vote for independence if a referendum were held on the touchy issue, while 25 percent supported unifying with China.

The survey by TVBS, a popular cable news network, also said that 14 percent told pollsters they would boycott or cast invalid ballots in an independence vote. The poll said 21 percent had no opinion on the issue.

Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since the Communists won a civil war in 1949 and took over the mainland. Taiwan's refusal to be ruled by Beijing has irked Chinese leaders, who say the island must unify eventually or face a devastating war.

Beijing has warned that an independence vote would spark a conflict.

Many Taiwanese, especially the younger generation, are becoming less enthusiastic about unification. The island's president, Chen Shui-bian, already considers the island to be independent and says any change in the status quo must be approved by Taiwanese voters.

The TVBS poll said that when asked in general if Taiwan should be independent, unify with China or seek statehood in the United States, 38 percent favored independence. Twenty-one percent supported unification, while 13 percent wanted to become part of America, the survey said. The rest had no opinion.

The telephone poll, conducted Aug. 10-11, involved 1,066 respondents aged 20 and older, TVBS said. The margin of error was three percentage points.


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