Hong Kong’s opposition rate against Taiwan independence has reached a new low since surveying began in 1993, said the University of Hong Kong on Tuesday.

“Our latest survey shows that Hong Kong people who oppose to the independence of Taiwan continue to outnumber those who support it. However, the opposition rate significantly decreases to 44 per cent, which reaches its all-time low record,” said Frank Lee Wai-kin, research manager at the university’s Public Opinion Programme.

Taiwanese passport with stickers. Photo: Denis Chen via Facebook.

“In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they tend to support giving Taiwan more international space,” said Lee.

The university’s department conducted a public survey from August 1 to August 4, randomly sampling 1,008 people in Hong Kong through telephone interviews. The respondents were asked to provide their views on various issues in Taiwan.

Latest people’s views towards various Taiwan issues. Photo: HKU POP Screenshot.

Survey result

When asked to give their views on two issues – Taiwan independence and Taiwan rejoining the United Nations – the respondents were given the choices “agree,” “disagree,” “don’t know/hard to say” or “refuse to answer.”

Twenty-nine per cent supported Taiwan independence and 44 per cent opposed it. The idea of Taiwan rejoining the United Nations received a support rate of 41 per cent and an opposition rate of 27 per cent.

Adding up the percentages of those opposed and those supporting, net support for Taiwan independence slightly increased to negative 15 percentage points this time, the highest figure since October 1994.

On the question of whether the One Country, Two Systems principle is applicable to Taiwan, 31 per cent of the respondents said that it is “applicable” while 46 per cent of the respondents said that it is “not applicable.”

The survey also asked respondents how confident they feel towards cross-strait reunification. Twenty-six per cent of the respondents said they are “confident” while 55 per cent said they are “not confident” at the prospect.

The University of Hong Kong campus gate. Photo: Wikicommons.

The demographics showed that 61 per cent of people aged between 18 and 29 supported Taiwan independence while 81 per cent were not confident about cross-strait reunification – the highest percentages compared to other age groups.

“Further analysis shows that the younger the respondents, the more supportive they are of Taiwan’s independence and more pessimistic about cross-strait reunification,” said Lee.

Gene Lin

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.