Majority of Taiwanese prepared to fight China to protect democracy

Poll also finds resistance against fake news

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More Taiwanese are willing to fight to protect democracy against China, says an opinion poll.

More Taiwanese are willing to fight to protect democracy against China, says an opinion poll. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – More than 65 percent of Taiwanese say they are willing to fight to defend the country’s democratic system against the use of military force by China, according to an opinion poll released Friday (July 19).

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy commissioned the survey from the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University. The annual poll about democratic values has been conducted since 2011, but for the first time it also included questions about fake news, the Central News Agency reported.

Turning to the willingness of people to defend democracy against the use of force by China, 36.3 percent of respondents said they were “very prepared” to fight in order to defend Taiwan, with 31.9 percent saying they were “prepared.” Only 10.2 percent said they were not willing, and another 10.3 percent were completely unwilling to fight.

Compared to the previous annual survey, the number of people willing to fight had risen, while the number of those not prepared had dropped slightly.

When asked whether fake news formed part of the freedom of speech, 51.9 percent of respondents gave a strongly negative reply, while 28.6 percent said they disagreed and only 11.6 percent agreed.

Analysts have compared fake news with counterfeit goods and unsafe foods, all of them to be equally rejected, according to CNA.

More than 70 percent of respondents expressed support for Taiwan’s democracy, though opinions were divided about whether developments were positive or negative. Dissatisfaction with the present political situation was expressed by 36.3 percent of respondents, while 34.7 percent were satisfied.

Looking toward the future, 36.7 percent were optimistic, but 31.3 percent expressed pessimism and 12.3 percent even said they were extremely pessimistic about the development of Taiwan’s democracy.

The poll received 1,262 valid responses with a margin of error at 2.93 percent, CNA reported.