Editor’s note (10/28/22): A previous version of this article stated that the survey questioned almost 105,000 adult participants from 25 countries around the world between Aug. 24 and Sept. 22. It has been updated to show that over 25,000 adult participants were surveyed during this period. We regret the error.
A new study revealed that the majority of adults from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia believe other countries should offer help to Taiwan in case an invasion occurs.
The YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project, a study focused on “exploring populism, globalisation and attitudes on topics ranging from food, travel and technology to immigration, cultural beliefs and the environment,” found that the majority of its American (52%), British (51%) and Australian (62%) participants think “other countries should provide help to Taiwan” if China were to annex it, The Guardian
Survey participants from other countries such as Sweden (55%), Denmark (51%), India (51%), Japan (55%), Kenya (63%), Nigeria (60%), France (38%), Germany (43%), Spain (38%) and Poland (40%) also think the same.
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When asked about a U.S.-led alliance that would supply Taiwan with troops or heavy weapons, the majority of the respondents did not express support. However, at least 40% of participants from 10 of the 13 Western countries included in the survey support imposing heavy sanctions on China, as well as supplying Taiwan with military advisers or intelligence.
“In other words, public opinion reflects a combination of two sentiments,” Joel Rogers de Waal, YouGov’s academic director, said. “There’s a predictable aversion to the prospect of physical confrontation with China, but also considerable support for the cause of Taiwanese defense in principle.”
“Public opinion is often not as binary as the policy debate might suggest,” he added. “It may be that plenty of people are capable of having both a sympathetic view towards the defense of Taiwan, and a favorable one towards China as a powerful force within the international system – albeit not as an outright alternative to it.”
The survey, which questioned over 25,000 adult participants from 25 countries around the world between Aug. 24 and Sept. 22, also found a sharp decline in China’s popularity among its respondents since 2019. In the U.S., for example, pro-China sentiments fell from 27% to 18%, while in the U.K., they dropped from 35% to 11%.
The release of this year’s YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project report coincided with the announcement that Chinese President Xi Jinping will serve as the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party for a third term on Sunday. Taiwan is reportedly getting caught in the middle of rising tensions between China and the U.S., with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying that China is speeding up plans to annex the island nation.