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Americans Favor Aiding Taiwan Against China

RESEARCH Public Opinion Survey by Dina Smeltz and Craig Kafura
Nancy Pelosi walks with Taiwan's president
Wang Yu Ching

Should China invade Taiwan, 2022 Chicago Council Survey data show most Americans would support sending arms but not US troops.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan aimed to deliver "an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom." Results from the just-completed 2022 Chicago Council Survey, fielded July 15–August 1, show that the American public also expresses support for Taiwan. Favorable ratings for the island have never been higher, and if China were to invade Taiwan, majorities of Americans say they would support substantially assisting Taipei—though the public stops short of sending US troops to the island.

Key Findings

  • Three-quarters of Americans (76%) think it is likely that China will see Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a precedent, encouraging it to invade Taiwan.
  • In the event of a Chinese invasion of the island, majorities would support imposing diplomatic and economic sanctions (76%), sending additional arms and military supplies to the Taiwanese government (65%), and using the US Navy to prevent Beijing from imposing a blockade against Taiwan (62%).
  • Four in 10 would support sending US troops to Taiwan to help the Taiwanese government defend the country against China (40%).
  • On a 0–100 feeling thermometer, Americans give Taiwan an average rating of 60, the highest rating yet recorded in Chicago Council Surveys. Meanwhile, ratings for China remain at all-time lows (averaging 32 out of 100).

Explore the full report

About the Authors
Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Dina Smeltz, a polling expert, has more than 25 years of experience designing and fielding international social and political surveys. Prior to joining the Council to lead its annual survey of American attitudes on US foreign policy, she served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US State Department's Office of Research from 1992 to 2008.
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Craig Kafura is the assistant director for public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader. At the Council, he coordinates work on public opinion and foreign policy and is a regular contributor to the public opinion and foreign policy blog Running Numbers.

Methodology 

This analysis is based on data from the 2022 Chicago Council Survey of the American public on foreign policy, a project of the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. The 2022 Chicago Council Survey was conducted July 15August 1, 2022 by Ipsos using its large-scale nationwide online research panel, KnowledgePanel, in both English and Spanish among a weighted national sample of 3,106 adults aged 18 or older living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 1.8 percentage points. The margin of error is higher for partisan subgroups or for partial-sample items. 

Partisan identification is based on how respondents answered a standard partisan self-identification question: “Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?” 

The 2022 Chicago Council Survey is made possible by the generous support of the Crown family and the Korea Foundation. 

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