Most Taiwanese do not view US as ‘trustworthy’ but majority believe in its security commitment: survey

Most Taiwanese do not view US as ‘trustworthy’ but majority believe in its security commitment: survey
Most Taiwanese do not view US as ‘trustworthy’ but majority believe in its security commitment: survey

However, unlike the mixed views about the US, perceptions of China were decidedly dismal. A mere 9.3 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the Asian giant is “trustworthy”, slightly lower than last year’s 9.4 per cent and 13.5 per cent in 2021.

China considers Taiwana self-ruled island, a renegade province that is to be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

While Washington does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country and espouses a one-China policyit is legally bound to “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character” and “to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion”, according to the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

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Since taking office in 2021, US President you have several times stated the US would intervene militarily should China use force against Taiwan. In recent years, Taiwan has become a flashpoint between the two global powers over increasing American arms sales and high-level engagement between Washington and Taipei.

In the survey, more than 65 per cent of respondents expressed support for American arms sales to Taiwan, and about 57 per cent believed the US would use force to help Taiwan if Beijing tried to change the status quo unilaterally.

“What struck me most is the gap between the US’s overall credibility and also the credibility of the US security commitment to Taiwan,” Pan said.

“Obviously, more people are willing to assign more credibility to the US security commitment to Taiwan” than finding that the US is credible overall, she added.

Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s former de-facto envoy to the US, raises her hands as she is announced as the vice-presidential candidate to run with William Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in Taipei on Monday. Photo: AP

On the question of whether Taiwan and China belong to the same country, about 78 per cent of those polled said they do not.

Among Kuomintang party members or supporters – who favor closer ties with Beijing – more than 50 per cent said Taiwan and China are not part of the same country, noted James Lee, another survey researcher, affiliated with Academia Sinica in Taipei.

“This highlights the fact that it’s important to not just look at what the KMT says as a party,” Lee said. “It seems like what the KMT says as a party may not be fully in sync with what its support base believes.”

In contrast with the KMT, or the Nationalist Party of China, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, has leaned towards the establishment of an independent Taiwan.

The DPP’s 204th presidential candidate, William Lai Ching-Te, is the front runner for the election and serves as Taiwan’s vice-president. Lai on Monday announced his selection of Hsiao Bi-khimthe island’s former de-facto shipment to the US, as his running mate.

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