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46% of Taiwanese identify with student protesters: government poll
Central News Agency
2014-04-03 10:50 PM
Taipei, April 3 (CNA) A government poll Thursday showed that 46 percent of respondents agree with the occupation of the Legislative Yuan by student protesters to show their opposition to the trade-in- services pact with China, while 37 percent said they do not. But nearly 58 percent of those polled said the student protesters should give up the occupation of the Legislature they started on March 18 and allow legislative activities to return to normal. The survey, the government's first opinion poll on events surrounding the agreement, was conducted by the National Development Council (NDC), which collected 1,084 valid samples April 1-2 with a margin of error of 2.98 percentage points. Of those polled, 55.7 percent said the services pact should be reviewed item-by-item but should not be shelved, compared with 27.8 percent who favored sending the pact back to the Executive Yuan and restarting negotiations with China. Support for the deal itself was nearly evenly split; 41 percent supported the government's signing of the services pact, while 40 percent did not. Just 26 percent said they favored implementing new legislation to monitor agreements with China before the services pact is reviewed -- as protesters have demanded -- while 49 percent were against it. Though many expressed sympathy for the students occupying the Legislature since March 18, 69 percent said they were not happy when asked how they felt about another group of protesters "breaking into the Executive Yuan (on March 23) and clashing with police," compared to the only 13 who said they did support the act. As for the subsequent removal of the student-led protesters from the Cabinet headquarters, 43.7 percent said they felt police were justified, but 31.7 percent felt the police action amounted to a "bloody crackdown." The numbers seemed largely to tell a different story from a poll released Wednesday by Taiwan Brain Trust, an opposition-leaning policy institute. That survey showed 54.5 percent of respondents supporting continued occupation of the Legislature and 66.2 percent in favor of shelving the pact and reopening negotiations. (By Lin Hui-chun and Lilian Wu)
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