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Only 3% of Taiwanese consider themselves Chinese: U.S. report

01/18/2024 02:19 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) More than two-thirds of Taiwanese people see themselves as primarily Taiwanese, while only a small number consider themselves primarily Chinese, according to a research report released by the United States Pew Research Center on Tuesday.

In a survey examining how people in Taiwan feel about their identity and how they view China, the institute found only 3 percent of people in Taiwan think of themselves as primarily Chinese.

Meanwhile, 67 percent think of themselves as primarily Taiwanese, and nearly three in 10 -- 28 percent -- identify as both Taiwanese and Chinese, the report stated.

The report also said that adults under the age of 35 are particularly likely to identify as solely Taiwanese (83 percent), while women (72 percent) are more likely than men (63 percent) to do so.

The report highlighted how identity in Taiwan is tied to politics and how those who consider themselves primarily Taiwanese are more likely to align themselves with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Meanwhile, those who regard themselves as both Chinese and Taiwanese, or as primarily Chinese, are more likely to be aligned with the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

Furthermore, 40 percent of respondents said they have an emotional connection to China, including 11 percent who feel very emotionally attached, the report showed.

About seven in 10 adults who support the KMT say they have an emotional attachment to China, with only around two in 10 of those aligned with the DPP saying the same, the report said.

In addition, older adults in Taiwan are more likely to have an emotional attachment to China. Forty-six percent of those aged 35 and older report an emotional connection with China, while only 26 percent of those under 35 said the same, according to the report.

Regarding cross-strait issues, most people in Taiwan consider China's power and influence to be a threat, the report stated.

This includes 66 percent who labeled it as a major threat, more than those who said the same about the power and influence of the U.S. (45 percent) and Russia (25 percent).

Younger adults are more concerned about China's power and influence than older adults, as are those who are more highly educated.

Meanwhile, just under two-thirds (64 percent) of adults in Taiwan who identify themselves as primarily Chinese, and Taiwanese and Chinese, consider China's power and influence to be a threat.

Similarly, 58 percent of adults who say they are emotionally attached to China see its power and influence as a threat, according to the report.

DPP and KMT supporters alike consider China a major threat to Taiwan. But DPP supporters (78 percent) are more likely than KMT supporters (59 percent) to say this.

Conversely, KMT supporters (63 percent) are more likely than DPP supporters (34 percent) to see the U.S. as a major threat to Taiwan, the report stated.

Earlier research found DPP supporters favor the U.S. over China, while KMT supporters favor China over the U.S., the report added.

Regarding life satisfaction, few in Taiwan are happy with how things are going. Only 24 percent expressed satisfaction, while 32 percent said they were dissatisfied and 37 percent said they felt neither, the report said.

The report stated that responses to this question were highly partisan. About half of those who support the DPP (48 percent) are content with how things are going, compared with just 10 percent of those who support the KMT.

Those who consider themselves primarily Taiwanese are more likely to express satisfaction with how things are going in Taiwan, similar to those who have less of an emotional connection to China, according to the report.

The data comes from a survey of 2,277 adults in Taiwan from June 2 to Sept. 17, 2023, conducted over the phone. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.64 percentage points.

(By Evelyn Yang)

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