TAIPEI – Most Taiwanese believe China is unlikely to invade Taiwan, but lack confidence in the military’s ability to defend the island should such an invasion occur, according to the results of a recent survey.
The poll, released Monday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, also found that respondents were divided on the likelihood of the United States coming to Taiwan’s aid militarily if attacked.
The survey was conducted by telephone among a random sample of 1,072 adults in the nation from April 15 to April 17, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percent.
Nearly 65 percent of respondents doubted that China will try to take Taiwan by force in the future, while about 26 percent of the respondents felt the opposite.
Over 65 percent of the respondents said they do not think Taiwan’s military could effectively repel China’s forces, while only about 27 percent of the respondents felt confident that it could.
Around 47 percent of the respondents thought the United States would deploy its forces to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, while 41 percent thought that unlikely.
The survey results come after China earlier this month conducted a live-fire military exercise in the Taiwan Strait, as well as long-range air force drills and long-range navy drills.
Taipei subsequently accused Beijing of deliberately heightening tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
“We are determined to defend our national sovereignty and dignity and will never yield to any military threats or inducements,” the Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement last Thursday.
More than 86 percent of the survey’s respondents said China’s military intimidation is not conducive to improving already tense cross-strait relations.
Taiwan has been governed separately from the mainland since they split amid a civil war in 1949. Since then, Beijing has considered Taiwan a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.