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Perceptions of Taiwan: A Global Overview

About 48 per cent holds a favourable view compared to 28 per cent who harbour an unfavourable perception with respect to Taiwan, according to a new survey by the PEW Research centre.

About 48 per cent holds a favourable view compared to 28 per cent who harbour an unfavourable perception with respect to Taiwan, according to a new survey by the PEW Research centre.

In the comprehensive study spanning 24 nations, the PEW Research centre noted that 25% of participants did not express an opinion on the matter. Impressions of Taiwan are most positive in Japan, where a remarkable 82% of respondents hold a favourable view, including 24% who express a notably positive stance. Similarly, in South Korea and Australia, approximately three-quarters of individuals hold favourable views of Taiwan.

TAIWAN’S FAVORABILITY ACROSS COUNTRIES

A favourable opinion of Taiwan is observed among roughly two-thirds of respondents in Israel and the United States. The sentiment remains strong even in these countries. Notably, citizens in Argentina, Brazil, Greece, Hungary, and Spain appear equally divided between favourable and unfavourable views of Taiwan. In India and South Africa, however, negative opinions of Taiwan predominate, with these nations being the exceptions.

PUBLIC OPINION GAPS

Remarkably, in 15 out of the 24 surveyed countries, a significant proportion of adults abstained from forming an opinion on Taiwan. This reticence is particularly pronounced in Argentina and Hungary, where about six-in-ten and half of adults, respectively, chose not to express their views.

INTERPLAY BETWEEN TAIWAN AND CHINA

Attitudes toward Taiwan often interconnect with perceptions of China. Across nine high- and middle-income nations, individuals who hold a favourable view of Taiwan are more likely to believe that China exerts at least a moderate level of interference in the affairs of other countries. This viewpoint is accentuated by China’s military actions near Taiwan and its sanctions against prominent figures visiting the island.

In certain high-income countries, an interesting zero-sum dynamic emerges – where favourable views of Taiwan correspond with unfavourable opinions of China. This is particularly evident in Japan, Australia, South Korea, the United States, Canada, Sweden, the UK, Germany, and France.

NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS AND REGIONAL NUANCES

Notably, Mexico stands apart as a country where a substantial proportion (36%) holds favourable views of both Taiwan and China. Conversely, India showcases a significant share (35%) of adults with negative perceptions of both countries.

In Sub-Saharan African nations like Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, a unique pattern emerges – they exhibit higher percentages of individuals who favour China while holding unfavourable opinions of Taiwan. This phenomenon is less prevalent in other regions.

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