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65% of Taiwanese back 1 year of conscription

53% of Taiwanese willing to fight for their country if China invades

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(Facebook, Military Spokesman photo)

(Facebook, Military Spokesman photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — According to an opinion poll released on Tuesday (Aug. 9), 65% of Taiwanese support extending compulsory military service to one year and 53% are willing to fight for their country if China invades.

On Tuesday, Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) led a press conference about the latest poll by the Foundation for the People (啟思民本基金會), which he also chairs. When asked if Taiwan should reinstate a full year of compulsory military service from the current four months, 65.5% agreed that it should be extended to one year, 12.9% believe it should be maintained at four months, 5% think it should be increased to eight months, and 4.6% said it should be stretched to 10 months.

When asked if the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were to take military action against Taiwan, 53.1% stated that they are willing to fight to defend Taiwan, while 38.6% were unwilling. However, many are pessimistic about help from neighboring countries, with 56.2% believing that if the PLA attacks, the U.S. will not send troops to defend Taiwan, while 32.2% believe it will dispatch soldiers.

Likewise, 53.9% do not think Japan will send its forces in the event of a Chinese invasion, while 34.8% think the country will send troops to help defend Taiwan. As to whether Taiwan is prepared for an invasion by China, 26.3% think that Taiwan is fully prepared, while 68.8% believe that it is not.

The poll showed that 37.2% of the respondents are satisfied with President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) cross-strait policy, while 59.3% are dissatisfied. Similarly, 36.4% are satisfied with Tsai's national defense policy, but 60.9% are dissatisfied.

When posed with the question of whether U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan was worthwhile, 45.1% think that the harm outweighed the benefits, 27.4% think the benefits outweighed the harm, and 22.9% thought the pros and cons broke even. When asked if the government should notify citizens when PLA missiles are fired over Taiwan, 77% believe the government should inform the public and only 11.8% feel it should not.

Regarding Taiwan's political status, 7.7% prefer unification with China, 65.3% wish to maintain the status quo, and 23.1% favor independence.

The survey was conducted by the Foundation for the People from Aug. 5-7. The poll gathered valid responses via Facebook questionnaires from 1,021 adults 18 and over and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.07% with a confidence level of 95%.