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Shoddy opinion poll cannot conceal US' evil will to use Taiwan as a pawn

《环球时报·英文版》 2023-03-01

Rasmussen Reports, an American polling company, recently released a survey of 900 "likely US voters" on a hypothetical scenario: If the mainland were to "invade Taiwan, would you support or oppose…"

Setting aside the inflammatory wording of the questionnaire. The result shows: 79 percent support retaliatory sanctions on China; 64 percent/63 percent support engaging naval and air forces; 43 percent support sending ground troops.

These numbers seem aimed at demonstrating deterrence against the Chinese mainland. However, observers believe that a sample size of 900 interviewees is simply too small to be persuasive and cannot represent the true views of the American people. If 900 samples are all a poll needs, the poll company can toss out whatever results it wants, Shen Yi, an international relations expert from Fudan University, told the Global Times.

Ordinary Americans are not interested in international affairs, let alone the sensitive Taiwan question,Xin Qiang, director of the Taiwan studies center at Fudan University, told the Global Times. A US survey released in August last year showed that every two in three US voters cannot find Taiwan island on a map.

Rasmussen Reports appears to be an independent polling firm, but it cannot be ruled out the possibility that the survey was funded by certain forces, such as the US military-industrial complex, in order to sell more weapons, or the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in Taiwan, to bolster their own morale, observers believe.

Despite little reference value, the poll still shows a tendency among the American people: If a war breaks out on the other side of the globe, more people tend to support other options rather than sending their own soldiers to bleed and sacrifice.

While trying to signal Taiwan island a false sense of assurance, the US has ramped up its tricks on the Taiwan question. On Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee advanced a bunch of bipartisan bills relating to Taiwan island, including sanctions "in the event of an invasion of Taiwan." On Monday, a US Navy P-8A Poseidon transited the Taiwan Straits. Last week, reports show the US plans to significantly boost the number of American military personnel deployed on the Taiwan island to help train local forces.

In the eyes of Beijing, these are undoubtedly provocative moves. On the other hand, it also reflects US' increasingly strong concerns for the future when the Chinese mainland resolves the Taiwan question. At that time, the Taiwan card will no longer be a card up in US sleeves, but will immediately turn into a headache. Would the US intervene? If not, the Chinese mainland has overwhelming advantages over the island; If yes, that means the two major nuclear powers will clash head-on, and the US is not yet willing to take that risks and costs, Xin said.

Therefore, the US hopes to maintain the status quo, maintain tensions in the Straits, so as to maximize its interests.

Nevertheless, the Ukraine crisis has made the Taiwan people realize how unreliable the US is. US' credibility on the island has been dropping. In order to keep the Taiwan card, the US began another round of efforts to show support for the island. Strengthening military cooperation, increasing high-level contacts and pushing for bills are all ways to boost the DPP's confidence while attempting to deter the Chinese mainland.

But collusion between the US and Taiwan island will only strengthen Chinese mainland's determination to curb Taiwan secessionist forces. China has made it clear that it will not renounce the use of force, and reserves the option of taking all necessary measures. So the signals the US has sent over the Taiwan question will result in opposite effect, Xin told Global Times.

Another piece of news from the US is also thought-provoking. Garland Nixon, an American radio host, tweeted on February 16, "White House insiders leak that, when asked if there could be any greater disaster than the neocon Ukraine project, President Biden responded, wait until you see our plan for the destruction of Taiwan."

This message has made quite a few Taiwan people wake up to the fact that what the US has been doing in recent years is pushing Taiwan toward the brink of war and even destruction.

Observers note that when the US encouraged Taiwan island to purchase US-made M136 Volcano Vehicle-Launched Scatterable Mine System, Washington was ready to make the island crush and burn. In 2021, a paper in the US Army War College's academic journal Parameters suggested Taiwan island should adopt a "broken nest" policy and destroy its own semiconductor industry - including the global chip powerhouse TSMC - in case of any Chinese "invasion."

The so-called plan for the destruction of Taiwan shows that the US won't allow a prosperous Taiwan island to return to China if Washington realizes it cannot stop China's reunification anymore. In other words, the day when the Taiwan card is useless, is the day when the US will tear it up.