New Delhi: After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan left several countries stunned and furthered agitated China, a survey conducted by a US think tank has showed record-high support from majority of over 3,100 Americans towards “substantially assisting” the island in the advent of a Chinese invasion — though the aid stopped short of sending the country’s troops.
The survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs revealed that favourable ratings for the island have never been higher, as Taiwan bagged an average score of 60 degrees on a “0–100 feeling thermometer”.
The survey showed that 76 per cent of Americans, who took part in the poll, supported imposing diplomatic and economic sanctions while 65 per cent agreed to extending military weapons to the Taiwanese government. Over 60 per cent agreed to support the use of the US Navy to prevent a Chinese blockade.
The stance on providing arms to Taiwan saw a marked change in comparison to support for selling weapons in peacetime. The 2021 Chicago Council Survey had seen Americans being sharply split on whether to sell (50%) or not to sell (47%) arms and military equipment to Taiwan.
US Congresswoman Pelosi and her American delegation landed in Taiwan on 2 August for a one-day visit amid retaliatory warnings from China. While discussing the aim of her visit, Pelosi had said, “In the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) accelerating aggression, our congressional delegation’s visit should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom.”
The visit triggered China to conduct unprecedented military drills around Taiwan.
The poll, which was conducted from 15 July to 1 August, found that 76 per cent Americans surveyed were of the opinion that China would see Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a precedent, encouraging it to invade Taiwan.
However, a notable observation was that a majority of 55 per cent Americans, who participated in the survey, were opposed to sending military troops to aid the Taiwanese government in defending itself against China while 54 per cent were against the use of US troops in case of Chinese invasion. Only four in 10 supported sending US troops to the island.
The data was compiled from a sample of 3,106 adults aged 18 or older living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia using an online research panel.
(Edited by Monami Gogoi)