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Survey finds Taiwanese trust in US has dropped

Academia Sinica poll part of 'American Portrait' project to gauge Taiwanese views on US, China

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USS Ronald Reagan and other ships from RIMPAC 2010 transit the Pacific. (Flickr, US Navy photo)

USS Ronald Reagan and other ships from RIMPAC 2010 transit the Pacific. (Flickr, US Navy photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese skepticism toward the U.S. has not changed much in recent years, an Academia Sinica survey has found.

The survey, conducted by Academica Sinica’s Institute of European and American Studies, indicated that Taiwanese trust towards the U.S. this year reached 33.9%. Between 2021 and 2022, the figure had dropped from 45.3% to 34%.

The findings were shared during a presentation of the “American Portrait” project, which tracks the levels of trust Taiwanese have toward the U.S. and China over the span of a decade. The project was initiated in 2021 by Academica Sinica researcher Wu Chien-hui (吳建輝), who is collaborating with fellow scholars Wen-Chin Wu (吳文欽) and Li Yu-tang (李語堂) and Soochow University Associate Professor Pan Hsin-hsin (潘欣欣).

The poll revealed that maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait remains the largest consensus in Taiwanese society. Up to 78.41% of respondents interpreted the current situation as "Taiwan and China are not part of the same country."

It also showed that the frequent presence of U.S. military aircraft and ships in the strait and public statements of support by American government officials were the most effective in boosting Taiwanese confidence in the U.S., CNA reported.

Additionally, most respondents said they did not believe in the "silicon shield theory," which suggests that Taiwan's advanced semiconductor industry can safeguard it from foreign aggression.

With regard to China, 66% of those polled believed cross-strait ties were not good. Meanwhile, 88.5% believed China posed varying levels of threat to Taiwan.