A local population fighting for the survival of its values and lifestyle is not to be taken lightly.
The National Interest
Date: September 3, 2020
By: Gary Sands
Here's What You Need To Remember: Despite recent heated rhetoric from Beijing and live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait, it would appear from the polling that Taiwanese are taking the threats in stride.
A 2018 poll revealed nearly two-thirds of Taiwanese believe their military is not capable of preventing an invasion by China's armed forces. Only 27 percent of those polled were confident Taiwan forces could deter an invasion. The poll was conducted by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation just days before a live-fire military exercise was held by China in the Taiwan Strait on April 18.
Despite a lack of confidence in their military, nearly 70 percent of Taiwanese would either join the army or put up resistance should China launch an attack, according to another survey conducted by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. A lesser number (55 percent) would fight if war was instigated by a declaration of independence from Taipei.
Home field advantage
A local population fighting for the survival of its values and lifestyle is not to be taken lightly, as made clear by Ian Easton. In his 2017 book, The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan's Defense and American Strategy in Asia, Easton believes the cohesive spirit of 2.5 million registered men of military age, fighting on difficult yet familiar terrain, gives Taiwan the advantage. Moreover, Easton contradicts the views of those Taiwanese recently polled who believe their military is not up to the task of defending the nation, arguing “There are few nations on the planet more resilient and ready for an enemy first strike than Taiwan.” He points to Taiwanese fighter jets, which could inflict a loss ratio of two or three to one against inferior Chinese pilots, and the possibility Taiwan’s military could force the Chinese to de-escalate without American military support. [FULL STORY]