Monday, September 24, 2007

Public Survey Shows Most Americans Support Taiwan's UN Bid

The relation between Taiwan and the US has become a bit shaky, after President Chen wrote to the UN a letter in which expressing Taiwan’s will to enter the world body under the name of “Taiwan” and after the DPP proposed a referendum on Taiwan’s UN bid. Nevertheless, a new opinion poll commissioned by Taiwan’s Government Information Office and conducted by Zogby International shows that most Americans supported Taiwan’s UN bid.

This survey questioned 1,205 adults across the US between Sept. 6th and Sept. 10th whether Taiwan should be offered UN membership. The results show that 55% of respondents agreed, while 27% disagreed; 61% of respondents said the Bush administration should support Taiwan's campaign for UN membership, while 33% said it should not.

When asked whether the US "should not oppose" Taiwan's UN bid if the people of Taiwan pass a referendum on UN bid, the figure jumped to 70% , with only 17 % disagreeing.

This demonstrates that a majority of the US respondents support Taiwan to enter the UN, especially if the petition is backed by a referendum of the Taiwan citizens.

As for a question mentioning China's opposition to Taiwan's membership, 52% of respondents favored Washington helping Taiwan enter the UN, whereas 34% opposed.

However, most of the respondents showed a broad lack of knowledge about Taiwan, indicating that Taiwan’s GIO will need to make more efforts in promoting Taiwan in the international community in the future.

According to the survey results, only 39% of respondents were familiar with Taiwan while 61% were not. Among them, only 3% had ever visited Taiwan before.

It is also a pity that most Americans are not sure whether Taiwan is a democratic nation or not. 35% of respondents described Taiwan as "moderately democratic," whereas 14% said Taiwan was not democratic and 42% were not sure.

Nonetheless, respondents to the poll held an overall favorable impression of Taiwan's relationship with the US. They were asked to evaluate the relationship between Washington and five Asian countries, including Taiwan, Japan, China, the Philippines and South Korea. Taiwan came 3rd behind Japan and the Philippines, while China came last. This survey, therefore, shows that in the mind of the US citizens, the relationship between Taiwan and the US is considered to be quite solid.

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