by Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Two thirds of the Taiwanese public have no trust in President Ma Ying-jeou’s handling of relations with China, according to a Democratic Progressive Party poll released Friday on the eve of his meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Concern has mounted that during the summit in Singapore Saturday afternoon, Ma will make concessions or promises which might tie down his successor to be elected next January 16. DPP leader Tsai Ing-wen is widely expected to win the election.
According to the new DPP survey, 65.9 percent of the public do not trust Ma when it comes to managing relations with China, while only 26 percent do.
With the president due to step down next May 20, 66.8 percent of respondents said he should not announce any new major cross-straits initiatives at his meeting with Xi.
Any new developments in relations with China should be the work of whoever is elected president next January, said 66.9 percent of those polled.
A total of 59.6 percent of respondents agreed with the opposition statement that Ma’s arranging the summit with Xi was an example of “black box” politics, i.e. that the president had hidden the process from the public, thus avoiding supervision by elected democratic institutions.
Ma should also have discussed his plans with the Legislative Yuan and the opposition beforehand to obtain a national consensus, said 74 percent of those polled by the DPP.
About half of respondents, 50.2 percent, said electoral considerations had played a role in arranging the Ma-Xi meeting. They agreed with the statement that the Kuomintang was hoping to improve its current dismal opinion poll ratings by organizing the cross-straits summit.