Judging from your stances and knowledge of both US and Taiwanese politics I'm guessing you might be Taiwanese-American? Or you could be like me, where I happened to pass through the PRC on my way to Taiwan and got to see the extreme night-and-day difference between the two countries, making the impact of the PRCs government very clear considering Taiwan's population is mostly Han Chinese. As much as Taiwanese politics might swing in regards to relations with China though, from my perspective the people of Taiwan are way to comfortable with their lifestyles to ever in reality become a part of "China" and if that ever came close to being a reality, people would reconsider.
I'm actually from HK (I've live in US for awhile, though)
. I'll admit that I don't know everything about Taiwan politics (I never live there and only visited a few times), mostly just following the news.
Mostly though, I found it really easy to find Friends in Taiwan by telling people how much China sucks and all of the ways Taiwan was better (and I was not lying, the PRC left me excited about little things like Taxi Drivers being bound by the rule of law. Also people in Taiwan grasp the concept of standing in a line.)
(Although I'm certainly NOT surprise by this)
Actually, if you go to HK, you'll make just as many friends (especially among the younger generation) by saying how much PRC (and all those mainlanders) suck.
If I remember internet chatter from Taiwanese people correctly, when he made his first diplomatic blunders with China on the issue, they immediately recognized he simply had no idea what he was doing and probably could not find Taiwan on the map. I don't think anyone deluded their selves into thinking he cares about Taiwan (or anyone but himself). But likewise, Trump's not playing chess here. He's not a strategic genius, he's just so narcissistic and irrational in some regards his next move just can't be predicted because he frequently doesn't make the most logical choice. That's his strategic advantage in a world used to being able to make predictions based on logic.
I agree. At max Trump call Tsai just to pissed off China. But Taiwanese already sort of knows that if PRC decided to really move forward and take Taiwan by force, US may just stand on the sideline b/c the nativist base want nothing of US intervention (In another word, US is no longer all that reliable of an ally). Same story goes for South Korea and Japan anyway - South Korea realized that Trump is stupid enough to throw away the best pawn (i.e. soldiers staying right there in SK and to lesser extent, Japan, as a deterrent to any North Korea aggression) that it's better to just keep NK close themselves. But what that means is that US lose yet another chess piece in the region against a larger frenemy (PRC).
Ultimately, Trump can't help himself but keep falling back to his nativist base (B/c he's one himself, don't think for a minute that he's smart enough to throw out "America First" without actually believing it). The PLA Navy admiral is hedging his "solution" (i.e. sinking US aircraft carriers) to "solve" the South China Sea problem b/c his nativist base want isolationism. What the admiral didn't realized, of course, is that "America First" definitely care about Americans getting killed, and sinking carriers will lead to grave consequences for PRC.