Most Taiwanese don't think war in Taiwan Strait is probable: poll

11/02/2021 10:38 PM
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Armored vehicles are deployed in the Matsu Islands during the 37th edition of the annual Han Kuang military drills in September. CNA file photo
Armored vehicles are deployed in the Matsu Islands during the 37th edition of the annual Han Kuang military drills in September. CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) Despite China's increased saber rattling towards Taiwan over the past two years, a vast majority of Taiwanese do not believe that war could erupt across the Taiwan Strait, according to survey results released on Tuesday.

About 23.7 percent of respondents completely disagreed with the possibility that "for all kinds of reasons, China would launch attacks on Taiwan sooner or later," while 40.6 percent did not fully agree with the rhetoric.

This meant that 64.3 percent of adult respondents didn't think there is a high possibility of a military attack from China, according to the survey conducted by the Taipei-based Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation.

The poll also found that 28.1 percent thought attacks were possible, the foundation said.

Compared with a similar survey conducted two years ago, the amount of people who thought that a Chinese attack on Taiwan is possible sooner or later increased by 12.1 percentage points, while those who disagreed fell by 13.1 percentage points.

In terms of age, young Taiwanese are more inclined to believe that China would attack Taiwan, the survey indicated.

On this question, 39 percent of those in the 20-24 age group agreed, while 49 percent disagreed. In the 25-34 age bracket, 63 percent did not agree, outnumbering the 34 percent who agreed.

Among respondents aged 35-64, 67 percent disagreed, far more than the less than 30 percent who agreed.

By education background, more college and university graduates and advanced degree holders tended to think that "there would be a war between Taiwan and China," while respondents with lower education levels shrugged off the idea, according to the survey.

There was also a clear divide between supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and those backing the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

About 77 percent of DPP supporters disagreed that a "Chinese attack was possible sooner or later," while 18 percent agreed.

On the other hand, 59 percent of KMT supporters did not think an attack from China was likely, while 38 percent thought an attack was possible, the survey showed.

In the face of a hypothetical Chinese attack on Taiwan, 48 percent of respondents were confident in the military's defense capability, marginally higher than 47 percent who were not.

The random survey, carried out Oct.18-20, collected 1,075 valid examples from respondents aged 20 or above. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.

(By Flor Wang and Chai Sze-chia)

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