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Australians say they support Taiwan vs China, but not sending troops

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Australians say they support Taiwan vs China, but not sending troops

Robert Besser
24 Jun 2023, 18:45 GMT+10

  • A poll released this week reported that Australians would support Taiwan, if it was attacked by China, with economic sanctions, arms supplies or using the navy to prevent a blockade
  • However, those polled did not support military action, the annual Lowy Institute poll added
  • Canberra has said that it opposes any unilateral attempt to change the status quo in Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing as its own territory

SYDNEY, Australia: A poll released this week reported that Australians would support Taiwan, if it was attacked by China, with economic sanctions, arms supplies or using the navy to prevent a blockade.

However, those polled did not support military action, the annual Lowy Institute poll added.

Canberra has said that it opposes any unilateral attempt to change the status quo in Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing as its own territory.

During a major Asia security meeting in June, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that as a conflict in the Taiwan Strait would be “devastating for the world,” Australia supports dialogue between the US and China.

The poll of public attitudes to the world also found that 82 percent of those surveyed supported the security alliance with the US, but some 75 percent are concerned that Australia would be drawn into a war in Asia.

Some 64 percent of Australians said the prospect of a military conflict between the US and China over Taiwan was a “critical threat,” and cyber attacks were cited by 68 percent of respondents as the leading threat.

The annual Lowy Institute poll of public attitudes to the world found 82 percent of those surveyed supported the security alliance with the U.S., although three-quarters also think that means Australia would be drawn into war in Asia.

Lowy Institute executive director Michael Fullilove said Australian trust levels in China remain “strikingly low,” with 15 percent saying they trusted China to act responsibly, compared with five years ago, as quoted by the Associated Press.

The poll is based on surveys of 2,000 people in March and 4,000 in April.

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