Taiwanese Just Not Afraid of Chinese Military Drills
China’s present ruling dispensation the Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan as part of its territory, despite having never controlled it, and has long vowed to “reunify” the island with the Chinese mainland, by force if necessary.
An opinion poll on Tuesday revealed that 78 per cent of Taiwanese are not afraid of Chinese military drills. The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) survey further stated that 52.9 per cent of Taiwanese welcomed United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to the self-ruled island, reported Taiwan News.
A majority of the surveyed people said that the visit should have gone ahead even if the scale of Chinese military manoeuvres were known beforehand.
Considering the wave of Chinese missile launches and military drills close to Taiwan which followed Pelosi’s visit, 52.9 per cent said she still should have gone ahead with the trip, while 33.6 per cent said Taipei should have cancelled the visit.
An even larger majority of Taiwanese, 78.3 per cent, said they were not afraid of the Chinese manoeuvres, even though they included the firing of ballistic missiles over the country. Only 17.2 per cent expressed fear about the drills.
The TPOF survey also found that 39 per cent of respondents saw a war with China in the imminent future as “somewhat likely,” while 53 per cent said it would be “not very likely or totally unlikely.”
Sentiment about the likelihood of the US sending troops to help defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack was more evenly divided, according to the TPOF poll.
A total of 47.5 per cent did not believe Washington would intervene, while 44.1 per cent held the opposite opinion.
The TPOF conducted its poll on August 8-9, resulting in 1,035 valid samples with a margin of error at 3.05 per cent.
The survey comes amid another US Congressional delegation visit to the self-governed island.
A fresh delegation of US lawmakers is visiting Taiwan, less than two weeks after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled island angered China and set off large-scale military drills in the Taiwan Strait.
A US Congressional delegation led by Senator Ed Markey arrived in Taipei on Sunday for a previously unannounced two-day visit that came on the heels of a trip from Pelosi earlier this month.
Meanwhile, China’s military said it carried out more exercises near Taiwan’s Penghu islands as a group of US Congressional members met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
17 Chinese military aircraft and five ships crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) tracked 17 Chinese military aircraft and five ships around the country as of 5 pm on Monday, reported Taiwan News.
Of the 17 People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) planes, 10 Chinese aircraft, including four Sukhoi Su-30 fighter planes, three Shenyang J-11 jet fighters, two Shenyang J-16 jet fighters, and one Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to the MND.
Taiwan sent combat air patrol aircraft and ships, while also deploying shore-based missile systems to monitor the Chinese aircraft and naval ships, reported Taiwan News.