President Tsai’s approval rating hits record low: poll

Taipei--The approval rating of President Tsai Ing-wen (???) has fallen to a record low in the wake of Panama severing diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of China, according to a monthly poll released on Monday.

In the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation survey, 33.1 percent of respondents said they approve of the way Tsai is leading the country, the lowest level since her inauguration in May 2016. In contrast, 49.6 percent of respondents expressed dissatisfaction.

Meanwhile, discontent with Tsai's performance in handling relations with China rose to the highest level recorded at 58 percent, while the level of satisfaction fell to the lowest at 35 percent, the survey revealed.

You Ying-lung (???), chairman of the foundation, noted that Tsai's approval rating has fallen 36.8 points from a high of 69.9 percent when she first took office, a sharp loss of popularity that represents a severe challenge to her administration.

He described as "unprecedented" the 23-point gap between the percentage of people who were unhappy and those happy with Tsai's handling of cross-strait ties.

On the government's handling of the severing of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Panama on June 13, 53 percent said they were dissatisfied, and 27 percent satisfied, the survey showed.

However, respondents were split over the continued decline in the number of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, with 47 percent expressing concern and 48 percent saying they were not worried.

Asked about the government's "forward-looking infrastructure development plan," 50 percent said they did not support it, compared with 37 percent who expressed support.

A record 61 percent of respondents said they were unhappy with the overall performance of Premier Lin Chuan (??) and his Cabinet, with only 29 percent expressing approval.

The telephone survey was conducted June 19 and 20 by Focus Survey Research. It involved 1,080 adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel