More than half of the adults in Taiwan would be willing to take up arms if China were to invade, a survey conducted by the Association of Chinese Elite Leadership said on Friday.
According to the survey, 61.4 percent of respondents said they would be willing to take up arms to defend Taiwan if China attacked, while 25.1 percent said they would not.
Taiwan Society of International Law deputy secretary-general Lin Ting-hui (林廷輝), a former National Security Council assistant researcher, told a news conference that 61.4 percent was high, citing an earlier foreign survey in which support for fighting invaders was lower in Ukraine and Sweden.
Lin was referring to a 2015 survey conducted by WIN/Gallup International, a US-based market research and polling company, in which residents of Europeans nations were asked if they would be willing to fight for their country in the event of war.
In the WIN/Gallup poll, 59 percent of Ukrainians and 55 percent of Swedes said they would fight.
The determination of Taiwanese to defend their country and their faith in the nation’s military could be related to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Cross-Strait Policy Association researcher Wu Se-chih (吳瑟致) said.
That conflict has given Taiwanese a new perspective on the Taiwan-China situation, as people have seen how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned into a quagmire, Wu said.
Taiwan NextGen Foundation chief executive officer Chen Kuan-ting (陳冠廷) said it is notable that 49.8 percent of respondents who indicated support for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said they would not fight, as did 47.6 percent who supported the Taiwan People’s Party.
Chen did not disclose figures for supporters of other political parties.
Respondents were asked to say what political party they supported, if any.
Although a majority said they would fight, 68.5 percent of those polled also said they hoped to see cross-strait relations gradually improve and exchanges take place as the COVID-19 situation eases, Chen said.
This indicates that cross-strait relations might still be moving in the right direction rather than toward intractable enmity, he added.
The Association of Chinese Elite Leadership poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday among people aged 20 or older.
The poll received 1,073 valid samples, with interviews conducted via telephone. It has a margin of error of 2.98 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval.
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