People in Taiwan have become more willing to go to war to defend the island following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine , according to a public opinion survey. According to the survey released on Tuesday by the Taipei-based Taiwan International Strategic Study Society, the invasion has also made more people in favour of an overhaul of reservist training and extending mandatory military service. The society polled 1,076 people between Friday and Sunday and found that 70.2 per cent were willing to go to war to defend the self-governed island from Beijing’s attack. Only 20.8 per cent said they were not willing to do so. That compares with a survey on December 28 in which only 40.3 per cent of the respondents said they would go to war for the island. That survey was released by Global Views Monthly , a Taipei-based magazine known for its neutral political stand, and indicated that 51.3 per cent would not go to war. Society director Wang Kung-yi said there had been a sharp change in public perspective on the island and the change was related to Ukraine. “Although most Taiwanese people do not agree that Ukraine today will become Taiwan tomorrow, they sympathise with the stress and suffering of the Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s invasion,” he said. Ukraine gives both sides of Taiwan Strait guerilla warfare lessons Wang said the crisis had also prompted people to change their views on a new reservist training programme introduced by the government to improve combat readiness. According to Tuesday’s survey, 70.4 per cent of respondents supported the training programme, with 19.1 per cent against. Taiwan’s reservist training has long been mocked as a five-day break from work for participants, and the United States – Taiwan’s informal ally – had suggested it be overhauled to better prepare the island for an attack by Beijing. Earlier this month, Taiwan’s military not only extended the number of training days each year from five to 14 but ramped up the courses to include field operations. The government of President Tsai Ing-wen has also been considering extending military service from four months to at least one year for men aged between 18 and 38. In the survey, close to 70 per cent said they were in favour of the extension, with 21 per cent against. The poll also indicated less confidence that the US would come to the island’s aid in case of an attack from across the Taiwan Strait. In a survey conducted by the society in October 2020, 55.1 per cent of the public said they thought the Americans would do so, but that dropped to 42.7 per cent in the Tuesday poll. “This was due to the US decision to not send forces to help Ukraine,” Wang said. The survey also asked respondents how they viewed cross-strait relations, with 77.3 per cent saying they supported the two sides maintaining peaceful exchanges, compared with 81.4 per cent in favour two years ago. Only 16.1 per cent of the respondents said they supported the Tsai government’s policy of “countering China to protect Taiwan”.