Taiwanese believe relations with U.S. unchanged if Biden wins: survey

11/07/2020 08:17 PM
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CNA photo Nov. 4, 2020
CNA photo Nov. 4, 2020

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) More than 50 percent of Taiwanese people in a recent survey conducted in Taiwan expressed the opinion that Taiwan-U.S. relations will remain unchanged if former United States Vice President Joe Biden wins the U.S. presidential election.

The survey was conducted Nov. 5-6 by the Asia-Pacific Elite Interchange Association (APEIA), days after the American people voted to decide their leader for the next four years.

Although votes are still being counted as of press time, questions in the survey were drafted under the presumption that Biden will be the next U.S. president.

According to the survey, 52.8 percent of respondents said they believe Taiwan-U.S. relations will remain the same in response to the question "how do you think Taiwan-U.S. relations will be in the next four years, assuming Biden wins the election?"

Nearly one in four respondents said they believed Taiwan-U.S. relations will worsen under Biden and 10.2 percent said they will improve, the survey showed.

The remaining respondents either refused to answer or expressed no opinion on the question, the survey showed.

Meanwhile, 47.1 percent of respondents believed China-U.S. relations will improve if Biden wins, 11.2 percent thought otherwise, and 33.5 percent said relations will not change, the survey showed.

In addition, half of those polled believed cross-strait relations will remain unchanged if Biden wins; 22.7 percent said relations will deteriorate even further and 20.8 percent said relations will improve, according to the survey.

The poll collected 1,077 valid questionnaires from respondents aged 20 years old and above in Taiwan. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus/minus 2.99 percentage points, according to APEIA.

In a separate survey conducted by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) before the U.S. election, a majority of Taiwanese people favored Trump because they see him as a staunch supporter of Taiwan.

Over the past four years, the Trump administration has approved 10 separate arms sales to Taiwan, supported Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations, and sent high level cabinet officials to the country, defying China's warnings.

At a press conference announcing the survey results on Saturday, Taiwanese scholar Tung Li-wen (董立文) branded as "inappropriate" the perception of some Taiwanese that Biden's foreign policy would be less Taiwan-friendly than that of Trump.

According to Tung, Biden's foreign policy should be compared with that of former U.S. President Barack Obama because both are Democrats.

"Looked at from this perspective, the current Democratic Party, especially Biden's team, is more China-resisting and Taiwan-friendly," he suggested.

(By Emerson Lim and Wu Po-wei)

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