Re: Would Australia Help to Defend Taiwan?

Here is an article from CNN that cites a poll showing that the vast majority of Australians would not support Australia assisting the United States militarily in defense of Taiwan. … index.html

I think this is another example of Taiwan doing a poor job in getting its message of being a “thriving democracy” that protects “human rights.” We already know that the EU would offer no support whatsoever to Taiwan (in fact, they’re ready to arm the Chinese). So, I guess it’s left to the U.S. and Japan alone now …

Always has been an issue of self interest vis a vis US and Japan.
US: contain China’s rise, maintain sphere of power in Asia, use Japan to counterbalance China.
Japan: maintain top player status in Asia, trade absolute loyalty to US for de-occupation.

Nobody else has a reason and can afford to be antagonistic with China, and just about no one truly cares about Taiwan for Taiwan’s sake … except, ironically, China.

Two thoughts:

  1. 7 percent could not choose. Is it really true that 93% of Australians really understand the China-Taiwan issue well enough to form an opinion on this? Or are Australians a bunch of opinionated ****ers?
  2. I’m not sure how much the phrasing of the question affects things … but this question is phrased as “Are you willing to go to war with China over something you know nothing about, and care less about?” I wonder what would be the figures if it was “… even if means supporting the US in defending Taiwan from an attack by China”

Anway, even with strong military support, any help from Aus would be “too little too late” wouldn’t it? Political support on the other hand is something which Taiwan should be seeking (dunno how though …)

Well, who needs the Australians anyway? We’ve got Kiribati and Palau on our side. That ought to have the Butchers of Beijing shaking in their boots.


I think any kind of survey is problematic. Most Australians would have virtually no understanding of the Taiwan-China issue.

In recent years the Australian government has sought to align itself more closely with China and distance itself from the US on the Taiwan issue. This has been motivated by economic self-interest. Much of the recent boom in the Australian economy has been due to increased commodity prices driven by demand from China. Australia sees itself have a strategic interest in trade with China in that it can provide many of the resources (gas, coal, iron ore and other minerals) that China desperately needs.

Australia is not the only country prepared to ignore issues about democracy and human rights in order to make more money. It is not necessarily about Taiwan failing to get its message across, but more about vested interests that put dollars ahead of all else.

No, they don’t necessarily understand the Taiwan-China issue, but they understand enough about the words ‘war with China’ to have an opinion on the question. Really, the question is very much as you have stated in point 2), ie “Would you send Australians to war over something you don’t understand and don’t care about just because the US is going to?” Many people would have Iraq in their minds when answering since the sending of troops to Iraq in support of the US has been a matter of much debate.

What really did surprise me was that 69% of Australians apparently feel ‘positive’ towards China as opposed to 58% towards the US (out of a survey sample of 1,000). Again, I suspect Iraq has a lot to do with this.

Ever since Gough Whitlam :smiling_imp: , Aussies have had the “tongue” very close to China’s ass. It a shame even the conservative “Liberal Party” has co-opted this policy.

Back then China was still left wing because it was still remotely ideological. These days it’s a big business Liberal Party (Version Howard) wet dream: “easy money”, no unions, contempt for labor rights, gross contempt for the environment, fantasies of entitlement among the upper earners, etc etc.

Labor? Liberal? It doesn’t matter if the tongue is black or white, as long as it licks that ass.

I think Daasgrrl’s got it spot on. This is more about Aussie attitudes to the US in the light of Iraq than it has to do with Taiwan and/or China.


Well Iraq already happened, so it will always be “in light of Iraq.”

yeah, Bu Lai En is right. Scrub’s done an awful lot of damage to my nation’s image abroad. Come to think of it, I’m gonna start claiming I’m Mexican.

You also have to factor in the fact that most Australians think Taiwan’s national food is Tom Yum soup.

The real question is, “Who cares?” It’s not as if it’s the great Australian Navy that’s protecting Taiwan, and in the event of a war, will Australia’s presence amount to anything other than tokenism? It’ll be nice if Australia wants to tag along behind the U.S. and Japan, but let’s not develop delusions of the grandeur and global importance of Australia’s military capability. In fact, if Australia itself is attacked, by most likely Indonesia, there’s quite a bit of doubt as to whether it could defend its own coastline. In that unlikely event, it may be Australia having to beg for help from Taiwan (not likely, either, since as in both cases, Oz or Taiwan attacked, it will be the U.S. that will bear the brunt of defending them both).

I dont think anyone here believes Australia has some great military power, rather the principle involved in publicly declaring it may not support TW if need be. This is the question I think Little B TW was raising in the initial post.

I think most Australians think China is great because of the perceived good it is doing for the economy in terms of demand for our natural resources. The government and opposition has done all that it can to foster that view point as well. There is very little press regarding Taiwan and its political development in Australia because it isn’t in anybody’s interests.

I think the Australian government takes the pragmatic view that Taiwan will inevitably become part of China by hook or by crook so what’s the point in getting on the wrong side of history.

The government in diplomatic parlance has all but spelled out their position that they don’t see Taiwan as an issue worth fighting over. I think it’s a pity, but most Australian’s simply don’t appreciate what they have got in terms of a liberal democratic society. It’s like being born with a silver spoon in your mouth.

Are Australians still required by law to vote? I’m sure it’s not an original observation, but it seems ironic that they have to forced to participate in the democratic process and then turn their backs on those who are struggling for that right. :shrug:
If they keep rolling over for the Chinese, pretty soon they’ll be running the country for them.

How does anyone struggle for that rigiht in Taiwan? Taiwanese already have that right. There is no connection between today’s TI movement and democracy. Even if one is instead talking about “preserving democracy,” it still has nothing to do with it because even 1C2S does not affect these rights internal to Taiwan. Maybe that’s why this silly argument has no takers, despite using all the correct buzzwords.

In any case, this poll is on the Australian willingness to participate in a particular military conflict, not on whether they support democratic processes. If you are the neocon type who believes these two must go hand-in-hand, then I expect you to personally put your words into action in the most dangerous parts of the world, starting now. Hey, what are you waiting for, chop chop, do you hate democracy or something?

Bzzzt. Wrong. Chinese has no interest in Australia, or for that matter, anywhere else. Just Taiwan. Don’t you feel special?

Bzzzt. Wrong. Chinese has no interest in Australia, or for that matter, anywhere else. Just Taiwan. Don’t you feel special?[/quote]

uhhh wrong bzzzzzzzzzzt

you forgot various islands claimed by many other nations, other land such as in: Russia, VN, India, khazakstan, khirgizstan, and other sudatenland. Thirteen countries.

One step at a time. :wink:


Yes, they are. And that’s no more ironic than the US fighting for democracy, when according to a quick google at least 40% of their eligible population doesn’t bother exercising that right. I’m not saying either of these is a good thing, just that one has to be careful with the irony stick.