Support for the unification with China at new low in Taiwan: Survey

Hong Kong students and Taiwan supporters shout and hold slogans to oppose Hong Kong's proposed extradition law outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong residents Sunday continued their massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TAIPEI, Dec 20, 2019, Taiwan News. Support for the Kuomintang (KMT) party and unification with China have both hit new lows in the 12 years since Global Views Research (GVSRC) began its annual public opinion surveys in Taiwan, Taiwan News reported.

GVSRC cited the bloody suppression of Hong Kong’s anti-government protests, which were sparked by the proposed changes to the extradition law, as the main reason for the sharp reversal from last year’s poll results.

The 2018 survey showed support for the KMT at 29.8 percent, 12 percentage points higher than the ruling Democratic Progressing Party (DPP), but in 2019, the KMT trailed behind the DPP by 15.8 points, registering only 18 percent approval. Aside from mounting fears on the island after seeing the violence in Hong Kong, dissatisfaction with the power struggle within the KMT has also been blamed for the steep decline in support for the party.

A sense of malaise over what has been happening in Hong Kong has also led to more negative views of China. The trend can be observed from people’s willingness to work, study, and invest in China, which all reached new lows in the survey. Thus, it came as no surprise that support for unification with China also nosedived to a new low of 4.5 percent this year, a drop of 10 points.

The poll was conducted by GVSRC between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2 through computer-assisted telephone interviews. The survey gathered 1,084 valid samples, with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points and a confidence level of 95 percent.

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