Most Taiwanese think military cannot fend off China attack: poll

2018/04/23 17:26:57 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) The majority of people in Taiwan think the country's military does not have the capability to prevent an invasion by China's armed forces, but they do not think such an attack is very likely, according to the results of a poll released Monday.

The poll found that 65.4 percent of Taiwanese have no confidence in the country's defense against an attack by China, while 27.1 percent think Taiwan forces can repel any such invasion.

The survey by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation was conducted just before a live-fire military exercise by China in the Taiwan Strait on April 18, which raised fears of a cross-strait military standoff.

According to the poll, 86.1 percent of Taiwanese people are of the view that such actions by China do not serve to improve cross-strait relations, while 3.3 percent think it helps.

On the question of whether the United States is likely to send troops to help defend Taiwan in the event of an attack by China, 47.4 percent of Taiwanese said they were confident of such support, but 41 percent expressed doubts, according to the poll.

However, 64.5 percent of Taiwanese do not believe China's military will invade Taiwan, and only 25.7 percent think that is likely, the survey found.

The survey also showed that 37.4 percent of Taiwan's people support the idea of its independence, 25.7 percent prefer the idea of maintaining the status quo across the strait, and 23.6 percent are in favor of unification with China.

Meanwhile, the poll found that President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) public approval rating has dropped 1.5 percentage points to 32 percent, the third lowest level since she took office on May 20, 2016.

Her disapproval rating has climbed 2 percentage points to 49 percent since the last poll in March, according to the latest survey, which was conducted April 15-17 via telephone interviews among randomly selected adults over the age of 20.

The survey collected 1,072 valid samples and had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)
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