A Newsweek survey found that a majority of respondents either approve or strongly approve of the US and its allies coming to the defense of Taiwan if China invaded the island nation.
In total, 25 percent strongly approved and 31 percent approved of US intervention while only 12 percent opposed it.
The survey also found that 41 percent of respondents view China as “the greatest threat” to US interests. Another 35 percent named Russia as the greatest threat, followed by North Korea with 7 percent, and Iran with only 3 percent.
Broken down by party, the majority of Republican voters (52 percent) chose China while only 28 percent said Russia was the greatest threat. More Democrats (45 percent) view Russia as the greatest threat than China (34 percent).
According to Raymond Kuo, the director of the RAND Corporation’s Taiwan Policy Initiative, the Newsweek survey indicates that the security of Taiwan is one of the few issues that bridges partisan lines.
Last week, China wrapped up three days of large-scale military drills in the Taiwan Strait in retaliation for Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s recent meeting in California with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, the Associated Press reported.
Beijing condemned the visit which it views as encouraging Taiwanese politicians and voters who support independence from China.
Polling shows that a solid majority of Taiwanese support the island’s current de facto independence while President Tsai’s administration says no formal declaration of independence is necessary since Taiwan is already a sovereign nation despite Beijing’s attempts to diplomatically isolate it.
Last Tuesday, President Tsai condemned the latest military drills, saying China was not demonstrating the “responsible” behavior of a major Asian nation.
Tsai reiterated that as president, she is a representative of Taiwan, and the people expect her to interact with “international friends.” She blasted China for using her visit to the US as a “pretext to start military drills,” which she said only created “instability in the Taiwan Strait and region.”