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Complete Coverage Taiwan

Complete Coverage Asia

President Chen Shui-bian
Going It Alone

by Kelly Cogswell

DECEMBER 4, 2002. More than 50 percent of Taiwanese prefer independence or sticking with their country's ambiguous status quo rather than unification with China.

According to an opinion poll released Tuesday by the government, about 32 percent of the people polled supported independence, a slight increase over last year, while some 28 percent wanted unification and 20 percent preferred to leave things as they are now.

Taiwan currently holds free national elections and has an independent economy, but is in international limbo since China officially considers it a renegade province.

As in 2000, when the current President Chen Shui-bian's pro-independence platform resulted in saber-rattling diatribes of forcible unification from Beijing, the independence question will play a role in the 2004 presidential elections.

A whopping 20 percent of those polled this week were uncertain, a potential swing population that Beijing has failed so far to win over with threats, but may decide to win over with capitalist honey.

For Complete Coverage Asia

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