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2021 CommonWealth State of the Nation Survey: Optimism at all-time high

By CommonWealth Magazine

CommonWealth Magazine’s 2021 State of the Nation Survey has found Taiwanese citizens more optimistic about the future of the country than at any time in the nearly two decades the survey has been conducted.

Taiwan’s ability to keep the COVID-19 pandemic at bay has also helped President Tsai Ing-wen garner unusually high satisfaction ratings for a second-term president. 

But Premier Su Tseng-chang’s satisfaction rating is turning negative, and support for Taiwan’s legislative body, the Legislative Yuan, is on the decline, possibly dragged down by the controversy over opening the country’s doors to imports of pork containing traces of a feed additive banned in Taiwan.  

Taiwan’s ability to keep the COVID-19 pandemic at bay has also helped President Tsai Ing-wen garner unusually high satisfaction ratings for a second-term president. 

But Premier Su Tseng-chang’s satisfaction rating is turning negative, and support for Taiwan’s legislative body, the Legislative Yuan, is on the decline, possibly dragged down by the controversy over opening the country’s doors to imports of pork containing traces of a feed additive banned in Taiwan. 

In its many year-end reviews of 2020, international media frequently highlighted Taiwan’s success in containing the pandemic and keeping its economy growing as the West continued to be overwhelmed by COVID-19. The Economist shortlisted Taiwan as one of five countries in contention for its Country of the Year award for 2020.

In effect, its pandemic prevention, economic performance, and technological prowess has propelled Taiwan into the global spotlight. But is this positive vibe rubbing off on Taiwanese and affecting how they see their future? 

Optimism in Country’s Prospects Hits New High

Apparently, it is. In CommonWealth’s 2021 State of the Nation Survey, confidence in the future among Taiwanese was higher than ever. But the results also indicate they continue to fret over daily livelihood issues, such as housing prices, labor insurance issues and the rich-poor divide, and clamor for reforms is growing increasingly loud.

Nearly half (48.9 percent) of respondents were optimistic about the country’s future prospects, the highest in the survey’s history. Some of that optimism results from Taiwan’s economic performance, with which 42.4 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied, also the highest since the survey was first conducted in 2002.

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