Survey: 52% Favor Using U.S. Troops to Defend Taiwan, If Communist China Invades

By Michael W. Chapman | October 11, 2021 | 1:39pm EDT
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- As Communist Chinese leaders continue to make threatening remarks against democratic Taiwan, a recent survey showed that 52% of Americans "favor using U.S. troops to defend, if China were to invade the island."

In addition, 69% of Americans "favor U.S. recognition of Taiwan as an independent country."

The survey was conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and released in August. For the survey, a national weighted sample of 2,086 adults were asked questions online. The margin of error was +/- 2.33%. 

When asked, "Generally speaking, which of the following descriptions do you feel best reflects the relationship between the United States and the countries below?" 30% said Taiwan is like an ally and "a necessary partner." 

(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)
(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)

Twenty-nine percent viewed Communist China as an "adversary," and 32% viewed China as a "rival."

When asked, "Would you favor or oppose the use of U.S. troops if China invaded Taiwan?" 52% said they favored the use of U.S. troops.  That is up from 25% back in 2010, and 19% back in 1982.

"While a significant portion of Americans appear unfamiliar with Taiwan, a majority of Americans seem prepared to recognize independence for Taiwan should the U.S. government change its existing policy toward Taipei," said the Chicago Council.  "And short of independence, Americans back a range of policies aimed at strengthening Taiwan’s international position and integration into the existing global order."

(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)
(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)

"Moreover, support has increased considerably for defending Taiwan in case of attack, which may itself bolster U.S. credibility in a crisis scenario," reported the survey. "However, it is unclear how the public would react to a serious crisis in the Taiwan Strait involving the U.S. military given the public’s relative unfamiliarity with the issues at hand."

Some of the other key findings of the survey include,

-- "Majorities favor U.S. recognition of Taiwan as an independent country (69%), supporting its inclusion in international organizations (65%), and signing a U.S.-Taiwan free trade agreement (57%).

-- "A slimmer majority (53%) support the United States' signing a formal alliance with Taiwan, and a plurality (46%) favor explicitly committing to defend Taiwan if China invades.

-- "Republicans (60%) are more likely to support sending U.S. troops to Taiwan’s defense than Democrats (50%) or Independents (49%)."

To read the complete survey, click here

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