The Taiwan Center for International Strategic Studies (TCISS) has released new data that show that even though a majority of Taiwanese believe that without US (56.2%), Taiwan would lose if China invaded, an even larger majority still willing to go to war to defend Taiwan (70.2%).
The data also shows that a majority of Taiwanese are also in favor of increasing the mandatory service time under compulsory conscription (69.6%), from around 4 months to about a year, as well as increasing expectations for conscripts (史上最硬).
This suggests that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced many Taiwanese to reevaluate the defense readiness of the country, as conscription times have slowly creeped down over the years while Taiwan has persistently assumed the US would intervene. While the US is technically bound to provide whatever is necessary to defend Taiwan, and Biden has made assurances that if an unprovoked attack on Taiwan would occur he would intervene, watching Ukraine suffer a war of attrition without any military assistance from its allies is likely resonant with many in Taiwan who have questioned the resoluteness of America’s conviction, particularly post-Biden. Political instability and the costs of war could cause the US to once again take a more isolationist shift, leaving Taiwan to defend itself, and this thought is likely driving support for increased defense readiness.