A recent survey conducted by the Eurasia Group Foundation has shed light on American attitudes toward one of the most pressing international issues of our time: the security and future of Taiwan in the face of China’s territorial claims.

The study, based on responses from 1,000 US adults, reveals that a narrow majority of Americans would support the commitment of US troops to defend Taiwan should China invade.

The findings underscore the complex dynamics of American public opinion on foreign policy and international relations.

Support for Defending Taiwan

The Eurasia Group Foundation’s survey found that 42 percent of Americans would “somewhat support intervention” to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

An additional 18 percent expressed strong support for such intervention.

This indicates that a total of 60 percent of Americans would be in favor of US military action to protect Taiwan.

The reasons for this support are multifaceted.

Experts suggest that China’s image in the United States has deteriorated due to widespread criticism on various issues, including trade practices and human rights violations.

Beijing’s actions, coupled with its perception of it as a “bad actor,” seem to influence American public opinion.

Furthermore, Taiwan is not just a disputed territory; it is a vibrant, self-governing democracy and a major technology hub. The survey found that these aspects may be contributing to the willingness to support intervention.

Mark Hannah, a senior fellow at the Eurasia Group Foundation, commented on the survey’s findings.

“China is perceived as a bad actor, and there could be a rally-around-the-flag effect if they invaded an island that is democratic and has been a long-term partner of the United States,” he said.

The notion of defending a fellow democracy resonates with a significant portion of the American public.

US Policy on Taiwan

The official stance of the United States on Taiwan is one of ambiguity.

The US formally recognizes the People’s Republic of China and maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan. Regardless, Washington does provide weapons and support to Taipei for its self-defense but has not made a clear and binding commitment to defend the island nation in the event of a Chinese invasion.

President Joe Biden has publicly supported defending Taiwan, but this stance has not translated into a formal change in US policy.

The survey’s results suggest that the American public may be more willing to take a proactive approach to defending Taiwan than the official government position.

Partisan Differences

The survey also highlighted partisan differences in American attitudes toward international issues.

While there is broad support for Taiwan’s defense, the level of enthusiasm varies by political affiliation. Republicans were found to be more likely to strongly support intervention in Taiwan, reflecting their generally tougher stance on China.

On the other hand, Democrats expressed more enthusiasm for robust US support for Ukraine, which has been a contentious issue in American politics. The preference for one international issue over another can be attributed to the shifting political landscape and the polarization of foreign policy discussions in the United States.

Support for Diplomacy and Negotiations

Interestingly, the survey showed that a bipartisan majority of 77 percent of Americans supported diplomacy with Iran to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This indicates that many Americans favor diplomatic solutions to international conflicts.

Notably, the question did not specifically mention the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which was negotiated by President Barack Obama and subsequently abandoned by President Donald Trump.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that 67 percent of Americans are willing to engage in direct negotiations with US adversaries, even if they are human rights abusers, dictators, or home to terrorist organizations. This suggests a nuanced approach to diplomacy and conflict resolution, as Americans appear to prioritize dialogue as a means of achieving peace and stability.

USS John Finn Taiwan Strait deployment
An MH-60R Sea Hawk hovers over the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) March 10, 2021 (Image source: DVIDS)

Survey Timing and Relevance

It’s crucial to recognize that public opinion is dynamic and can evolve over time.

The Eurasia Group Foundation’s survey was conducted a few months ago, and public sentiment may have shifted since then.

The survey was also taken before a bloody weekend assault on Israel by the Islamist movement Hamas, which receives support from Iran’s clerical leaders.

Such events can influence the public’s perception of foreign policy and international relations.


The survey’s findings provide valuable insights into American attitudes toward Taiwan, China, and other international issues. They underscore the significance of public opinion in shaping government policies and global actions. Understanding public sentiment is critical for policymakers and leaders in an era of increasing global interdependence and evolving geopolitical challenges. As the United States navigates its role in the world, these insights will be particularly relevant for shaping future foreign policy decisions.