Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed.
The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
Another 18.2 percent gave no response.
Asked whether they were fearful given a spate of actions by Chinese military aircraft and vessels near Taiwan, 3.8 percent said they were “very afraid” and 21.8 percent said they were “fairly afraid.”
About 29 percent said they were “not very afraid,” 41.2 percent said they were “completely unafraid” and 3.9 percent had no opinion, the report said.
The survey asked participants: “Some people say that to maintain the dignity of Taiwan, do not hesitate to fight a war with the Chinese Communist Party. Do you agree with this view?”
It found that 9.1 percent “very much agree” with this view, 16.1 percent “fairly agree,” 30.6 percent “do not really agree” and 36.1 percent “very much disagree,” while 8 percent had no response.
Asked whether they believed the US would send troops to help defend Taiwan in case of a cross-strait war, 15.9 percent said “definitely” and 29.6 percent said “yes,” while 15 percent said “no” and 18.1 percent said “definitely not,” and 20.9 percent had no opinion.
Respondents were also asked about President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 that starting on Jan. 1, Taiwan would allow imports of US pork containing traces of ractopamine.
The survey showed that 40.1 percent “very much disagree” and 25.8 percent “do not really agree” with this policy, while 3.2 percent said they “very much agree” and 15.2 percent said they “fairly agree” with it, and 15.6 percent had no opinion.
Asked whether they agree that “Taiwan-US relations have made significant progress, therefore Taiwan can obtain many substantial benefits,” 11.9 percent of respondents said they “very much agree” and 25.9 percent said they “fairly agree” with the statement.
Twenty-eight percent of people said they “do not really agree,” 20.4 percent “very much disagree” and 13.7 percent had no response, the survey showed.
The survey showed that most people do not believe there would be a war between Taiwan and China and are unafraid, KMT Legislator Hsieh Yi-fong (謝衣鳳) said at a news conference in Taipei to publicize the results of the survey.
This shows that Taiwanese “are not aware of the danger of war” and might be unprepared, she said, urging the government to carry out comprehensive planning and training.
About 67 percent of people do not believe the two sides should engage in a war to maintain Taiwan’s dignity, she said.
This shows that “most people still hope to maintain substantial cross-strait stability and peace,” she added.
For Taiwanese, there is a “very high” degree of correlation between whether they would fight a war with China, and whether the US is willing to send troops to aid Taiwan, foundation deputy chief executive Huang Hsin-hua (黃心華) said.
However, whether the US would send troops to Taiwan is an “external factor,” and one that Taiwan cannot control, he said.
The survey, carried out by Taiwan Real Survey from Tuesday to Thursday last week, collected 1,079 valid samples from people aged 20 or older, and had a margin of error of 2.98 percentage points.
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