Most Taiwanese do not feel 'Chinese' and reject the ‘1992 Consensus'

Almost 70 per cent reject the latter. Former KMT President Ma Ying-jeou's claim that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have the same national identity does not stand. The idea of "one China" but with different interpretations of what it means was also rejected. For Ma's Kuomintang, the 2024 presidential elections will be an uphill battle.

Taipei (AsiaNews) – Most Taiwanese do not feel Chinese and reject the "1992 Consensus", an agreement between the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT) and communist China, which  former Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou praised during his recent (and controversial) trip to the mainland.

Survey data from a poll conducted by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation refute Ma's claim that the people of Taiwan and China are "all Chinese."

When asked whether they agree with Ma, 42 per cent of respondents “disagree”, while 25 per cent said that they “somewhat disagree”. Only 7 per cent said they “agree” and feel Chinese, while 16 per cent said that they “somewhat agree”.

As for the 1992 Consensus, the margin is much wider; 67 per cent said they disagreed with the concept, while only 22.5 per cent accept it.

With the tacit agreement 31 years ago, reached by the KMT and Beijing, the two sides accepted the notion that Taiwan and China are part of a single nation, but each is free to decide what is meant by "China". According to Taipei, it is the Republic of China (Taiwan’s official name); for the communist regime, it is the People's Republic of China.

Taiwan, which Beijing considers a "rebel province" and has never ruled out taking it by force, has been de facto independent from China since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek's KMT found refuge there after losing the civil war on the mainland to the communists, making it the heir to the Republic of China founded in 1912 by Sun Yat-sen.

The KMT is now closer to Beijing, which accuses current Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of seeking independence. Chinese leaders have criticised Tsai for rejecting the 1992 Consensus.

Several observers argue that the mainland is trying to use the KMT to divide Taiwanese society before the 2024 presidential elections in order to weaken the DPP.

In November, Tsai’s party suffered a big loss in local elections. The same happened  before the presidential elections of 2020, which saw her re-elected.

In the national vote, relations with Beijing weigh heavily, and the KMT is often accused of being too aligned on the positions of communist China, and the latest poll seems to confirm this trend.