A new poll has revealed that the majority of Americans support the United States stepping up to help protect Taiwan from an attack by China. With threatening rhetoric against the independence of Taiwan, China has continually said that the nation is destined to be taken over in the coming future. Recent actions of military drills around Taiwan and press release plans of their strategy to do so have been released to the public, increasing global awareness on the potential of conflict in the region. With this, support amongst Americans for defending Taiwan has increased to new highs over the past months.
A recently released poll from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, based on information gathered through the month of July and made public on August 26th, shows this increase of support amongst Americans. For the first time, a majority now says that they would support sending American military troops to help protect Taiwan from China.
From the poll taken of 2,000 individuals from across the nation, 52% have said their support for sending in American force to the nation. While 46% believe we should be committed to a formal defense plan in defending Taiwan, nearly 70% of those polled believe that regardless of action we should be in support of Taiwan remaining an independent country. 65% view Taiwan as a necessary ally, and 57% support a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan.
According to the new report, “This is the highest level ever recorded in the Council’s surveys dating back 1982, when the question was first asked.”
The report concludes that “views of China have taken a sharp negative turn”, as a majority now see China as a threat rather than a potential partner on the world stage.
China has recently used the failures in Afghanistan by the United States as a ploy to diminish world opinions on the capability of our forces being able to do anything to stop them in a public campaign labeled as “Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow.”
Back in March of this year, during a nomination hearing of Admiral John Aquilino to become Commander of INDOPACOM (Indo Pacific Command), Aquilino warned “My opinion is, this problem is much closer to us than most think. We have to take this on, put those deterrence capabilities like PDI in place in the near term and with urgency.”
Aquilino’s initial assessment at the time was that conflict could occur anytime within the next 6 years, with a further outlook ranging anytime between now and 2045. Considering how wrong the initial assessments were on how fast Afghanistan and specifically Kabul would fall, let us hope that this potential conflict around Taiwan doesn’t catch us by surprise too and that we have a plan of action prepared.