Friday, September 05, 2014

When Surveys Become Instruments of Pro-Beijing Propaganda

A recent poll shows unusually high self-identification as Chinese among Taiwanese respondents. Here’s why the results should not be taken seriously 

Forget the more-than-a-decade-long trend, supported by various polls, of rising identification among Taiwanese as “ethnically Taiwanese” and the attendant drop in identification as “Chinese.” A new poll released this week clearly demonstrates that those were all lies. Taiwanese and Chinese regard themselves as one big, happy, Chinese family. 

The Taiwan Competitiveness Forum (TCF, 台灣競爭力論壇) poll, whose results the state-run Central News Agency (CNA) reported, both in Chinese and English, shows that 87% of respondents considered themselves “of Chinese ethnicity.” More extraordinarily, the share of respondents who identify as “Chinese,” it said, rose to 53%. Based on those results, the polling firm concluded that the Sunflower Movement had failed and that the government should “seize on the growing amity toward China and continue its push to improve two-way ties” by signing the trade-in-services deal and a subsequent trade-in-goods agreement with China. 

Before supporters of a free, democratic Taiwan throw in the towel, there’s a few things they should know. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here. (Photo by the author.)

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