More than half of Taiwanese are confident in the nation’s self-defense capabilities, and about 73 percent are willing to fight in the event of war, a poll in the latest edition of the Defense Security Journal found.
The poll in the Institute for National Defense and Security Research’s (INDSR) biweekly journal was part of an article by INDSR researcher Lee Kuan-chen (李冠成), in which Lee said that Taiwan’s resolve to defend itself has never wavered.
While the March poll found that about 73 percent of Taiwanese would fight for their nation in the event of a Chinese invasion, a similar poll in September last year found that about 75 percent would.
Photo: Military News Agency
In the September poll, about 58 percent of the respondents expressed confidence in the military’s self-defense capabilities, while the figure dropped to about 54 percent in the March poll.
While there was a dip in respondents’ confidence, it was within the poll’s margin of error, the report said, adding the March results indicated Russia’s war in Ukraine has not dampened Taiwanese’s determination to defend their nation.
The public’s positive response to the military’s most recent reservist training program and growing support for extending the mandatory service period was also high, demonstrating that people are resolved to defend their country, Lee said.
The greatest impact the Ukraine war had was on the public’s belief that the US would send troops to help defend Taiwan, Lee said.
About 57 percent of respondents in the September poll answered “certainly” or “maybe” in response to the question: “Will the US send troops to help Taiwan in the event of a war across the Taiwan Strait?” That figure dropped to 40 percent in the March poll.
Lee said that this indicates a more reserved attitude toward the possibility of assistance from friendly nations.
The survey showed that, under the condition that the US would send troops to help Taiwan, about 95 percent of those who are confident in the nation’s defensive capabilities would be willing to fight, whereas among those who expressed a lack of confidence in the military’s self-defense capabilities, only 65 percent would fight.
Under the condition that the US would not send troops to help Taiwan, about 89.8 percent of those confident in the nation’s self-defense capabilities would fight for their nation, while 60 percent of those lacking confidence would fight.
Lee’s study showed that regardless of US military assistance, believing in Taiwan’s military capabilities correlates with a willingness to fight for the nation.
Lee said that confidence in Taiwan’s military is crucial in influencing the public’s spirit of resistence.
The March poll was conducted by National Chengchi University from March 9 to 13, targeting individuals aged 20 or older.
The poll received 1,080 valid samples, with 756 interviews conducted via landline and 324 via cellphones, and has a margin of error of 2.98 percent, with a 95 percent level of confidence.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of