WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Americans who spoke to Fox News in Wisconsin almost all agreed that Taiwan is its own country amid tensions over the island’s independence from China.
“Taiwan is definitely its own country,” one man, Dustin, told Fox News. “It’s its own independent country, and they have a sovereign right to exist.”
Another agreed and said: “China should mind their own business and stay out of that independent country.”
China considers Taiwan its territory, while the island’s government rejects those claims and has operated as a self-ruled democracy since 1949. Beijing demands that countries seeking relations with China must sever formal ties from Taiwan, though the U.S. has continued informal ties with the island government.
“If we want to call Taiwan a country, I think we should,” one man, Michael, said. “I frankly don’t care if China gets mad.”
“Who are they to tell the United States what to do?” Michael added. “We want to maintain decent foreign relations, but they don’t dictate what we do.”
Yet candy maker Mars Wrigley apologized to China last week after a Snickers advertisement calling Taiwan a country went viral.
“Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and conducts its business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations,” the apology stated.
One person said Taiwan “should be” its own country.
“I guess I thought it was,” said another. “That’s probably pretty bad for me that I didn’t know that.”
One attendee, Don, said: “Well, China actually governs it in a way, but I give Nancy Pelosi a lot of credit for going over there though and standing up to the Chinese.”
Pelosi, the House speaker, visited Taiwan earlier this month. In response, Beijing sanctioned Pelosi and her immediate family, fired missiles over the island and held military drills nearby.
“I think that China should just leave them alone,” one woman who considers Taiwan an independent nation told Fox News. “Just like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin should leave Ukraine alone.”