Despite China’s increased saber-rattling toward Taiwan over the past two years, most Taiwanese do not believe that war could erupt across the Taiwan Strait, a survey released on Tuesday showed.
Asked whether China would, for any reason, attack Taiwan sooner or later, 23.7 percent of respondents said they completely disagreed with the statement, while 40.6 percent said they did not fully agree with it, the poll showed.
This meant that 64.3 percent of respondents did not think there was a high possibility of a military attack by China, against 28.1 percent who thought the Chinese might attack, the survey by the Taipei-based Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed.
Compared with a similar survey conducted two years ago, the percentage of people who thought that a Chinese attack was possible sooner or later increased by 12.1 percentage points, while those who disagreed fell by 13.1 percentage points.
In terms of age, young Taiwanese were more inclined to believe that China would attack Taiwan, with 39 percent of those in the 20-24 age group thinking that Beijing would do so, while 49 percent disagreed.
In the 25-34 age bracket, 63 percent disagreed, outnumbering the 34 percent who agreed.
Among respondents aged 35-64, 67 percent disagreed, far more than the less than 30 percent who agreed.
By education background, more college and university graduates and advanced degree holders tended to think that “there would be a war between Taiwan and China,” while the rest shrugged off the idea, the survey showed.
There was also a clear divide between supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and those of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
About 77 percent of DPP supporters disagreed that a “Chinese attack was possible sooner or later,” while 18 percent agreed.
On the other hand, 59 percent of KMT supporters did not think an attack from China was likely, while 38 percent thought an attack was possible, the survey showed.
In the face of a hypothetical Chinese attack on Taiwan, 48 percent of respondents were confident in the military’s defense capability, marginally higher than 47 percent who were not.
The survey, carried out from Oct. 18 to 20, collected 1,075 valid samples from respondents aged 20 or older. It has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
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