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Taiwan residents agree US will not come to their aid if China invades, are divided on threat level

U.S. defense officials have been sounding the alarm that China could launch an invasion on the self-ruled island of Taiwan by 2027, and though Taiwanese residents are divided on their concerns over the imminent threat, they are in apparent agreement in believing the U.S. will not come to their aid. 

President Biden turned heads last year when he said he would send boots on the ground to counter the forewarned Chinese threat, but the Taiwanese are not convinced.

“I’m not really sure because, you know, it’s always about the interest of that… particular moment or particular time,” one Taipei resident by the name of Jerome told Fox News Wednesday. “I think it’s always kind of a complicated issue for [Americans] to think about.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in Simi Valley, California.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in Simi Valley, California. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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Some are looking at the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine, noting Washington’s refusal to deploy troops to Kyiv over concerns it would spark a third world war or prompt a nuclear response from Russia. 

“You see what happened in Europe now?” one Taipei resident said in answer to questions from Fox News on whether they thought the U.S. would to come to their aid should China attack. “That’s very clear. Why we should lie to ourselves [and] say America will come? I don’t think so.”

But the geopolitical realties when it comes to Ukraine and Taiwan are different. 

The U.S., though it does not recognize the island as a sovereign nation under the “One China” policy, has made commitments to Taipei under the Taiwan Relations Act and warned the Chinese Communist Party about making any attempts to change the status quo in the region. 

Taiwanese soldiers salute during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan.

Taiwanese soldiers salute during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

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According to the State Department, the U.S. has committed itself to make “available defense articles and services as necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.”

The Taiwan Relations Act also says the U.S. “maintains our capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of Taiwan.”

The U.S. holds no such commitment to Ukraine, which is not a part of NATO, but has still provided billions in military aid. Still, Taiwan residents remain unconvinced about the U.S. commitment toward them.

“I think Americans support themselves,” one resident told Fox News from Taipei. “So, we don’t trust [them]. They only care about themselves.”

A People's Liberation Army member looks through binoculars during military exercises at Taiwan’s frigate Lan Yang, on Aug. 5, 2022. China has repeatedly entered the waters and airspace of Taiwan in the past several weeks, Taiwan defense officials have said. 

A People’s Liberation Army member looks through binoculars during military exercises at Taiwan’s frigate Lan Yang, on Aug. 5, 2022. China has repeatedly entered the waters and airspace of Taiwan in the past several weeks, Taiwan defense officials have said.  (Lin Jian/Xinhua via AP)

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As to whether the people of Taiwan are concerned by China’s aggressive posture, they appeared more divided, with one individual who shook their head and said they were “not worried.”

Jerome on the other hand said he believes “a lot of people [are] concerned.”

“You know, I heard a lot of people trying to apply for immigration to other countries,” he added. 

A third individual said, “People are worried,” but added they didn’t necessarily view it as an imminent threat.

“We are not really thinking about how we are going to have a war right now, maybe 10 years later or 20 years later,” the individual added. 

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