《TAIPEI TIMES》Most Americans back recognizing Taiwan, poll shows
A soldier holds a Republic of China flag in Hsinchu County on Sept. 21 during drills that simulate integrated ground and air combat. Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, AP
By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter
Nearly three-quarters of Americans would support the US recognizing Taiwan as an independent country to defend the nation in the event of a Chinese invasion, while a majority supported US defense assistance to Taiwan, a Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute poll showed on Thursday.
The institute’s Reagan National Defense Survey assesses perspectives on key issues in defense, national security and foreign policy.
Seventy-two percent of respondents supported the US defending Taiwan by “officially recognizing Taiwan as an independent country” in the event of a Chinese invasion, the poll showed.
The majority also supported the US to take other measures in such a situation, including imposing economic sanctions against China, moving US military assets to the region, sending more military equipment to Taiwan and establishing a no-fly zone in the area, it showed.
Forty-six percent supported committing US ground troops to the defense of Taiwan, with the rate rising yearly from 39 percent in 2019, the institute said.
Beijing’s military buildup and human rights abuses were the most concerning aspects of Chinese activity, with each option selected by 20 percent of respondents, the survey showed.
Asked whether they were concerned about the potential of China invading Taiwan, 31 percent said that they were “extremely concerned” while 42 percent said that they were “somewhat concerned,” it showed.
Support for US security assistance to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan was 71 percent, 67 percent and 65 percent respectively, it showed.
Support for increasing the US military presence near Taiwan and arms sales to deter China from launching an attack was 60 percent and 55 percent respectively, it showed.
Respondents were more likely to support sending US troops to help Taiwan repel an invasion when informed that the nation has a democratically elected government, and is a major manufacturer of electronics and semiconductors, the institute said.
Seventy-one percent were concerned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would prompt other authoritarian countries to invade their democratic neighbors, it said.
Asked if they saw Taiwan as an ally of the US, 64 percent said “yes,” while only 15 percent saw China the same way and 77 percent saw it as an enemy, the poll showed.
Respondents said that the US had superior military capabilities, diplomatic influence and economic strength than China, but Chinese artificial intelligence and cyber capabilities were seen as superior to the US, it showed.
A majority believed that China would gain military power and economic strength at a faster rate than the US over the next decade, the survey showed.
The survey was conducted from Oct. 27 to Nov. 5, garnering responses from 2,506 adults in the US via telephone and the Internet.
It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2 percentage points.