A majority of American adults believe the United States should support the campaign now underway by Taiwan to gain membership in the United Nations, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.
The survey, conducted Sept. 6-10, 2007, shows that 61% believe the U.S. government should support Taiwan's petition to gain membership in the international body just as it did recently for Kosovo. Asked whether the UN should offer Taiwan membership, 55% of American adults said it should. Perhaps seeing it as a matter of consistency in dealing with allies around the world, American progressives very supportive of this stance for the U.S. However, conservatives were not so sure. Among the very liberal, 77% said the U.S. should go to bat for Taiwan membership, compared to just 52% of those who considered themselves very conservative.
If the people of Taiwan pass a referendum to join the New York-based body, 70% of respondents in the survey said the U.S. should not oppose the island nation's petition to join. Since the early 1990s, Taiwan has applied for membership but has never won it because of opposition from Beijing, which, as a permanent member of the U.S. Security Council, holds veto power over such applications.
Asked whether the U.S. should oppose China's stance on Taiwan's membership in the body and help Taiwan win membership in the UN, 52% agreed it should. On this question, conservatives were more supportive of Taiwan's cause than were liberals. Among the very conservative, 72% agreed the U.S. should help Taiwan, while just 48% of the very liberal agreed.
The survey included 1,205 U.S. adults nationwide and carries a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.
Most Americans - 72% - said they think that, when it comes to UN membership, all countries should be treated equally and without discrimination, the poll showed. And 81% said the U.S. should respect every country's right to UN membership based on the principles of democracy and self-determination.
Ideologically, Americans were all over the lot on the question of Taiwan membership in the UN. While 43% of those who considered themselves very liberal favored Taiwan membership, 58% of mainline liberals backed it. Moderates were very supportive - 71% supported membership for the island nation off the coast of China, but just 43% of conservatives supported it. Among those ideological groups where support was lower, the percentage of unsure respondents was notably higher. The survey also showed that the more familiar Americans were with Taiwan, the more likely they were to its membership.
Men were somewhat more likely than women to support Taiwan membership.
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