Around 60 per cent of Hong Kong’s young people support Taiwan independence, a survey by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP) has found.

The regular poll interviewed 1,000 Hong Kong people between August 6 and 9 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Overall, 34 per cent of respondents supported Taiwan independence and 54 per cent opposed it – similar to the last survey six months ago.

In the 18 – 29 age group, 60 per cent said they supported Taiwan independence. 30 per cent said they opposed it, nine per cent said they “don’t know or hard to say.”

Taiwan independence
A flag advocating Taiwan independence. Photo: Denis Chen.

The result for the age group was similar to those in the three surveys conducted since early 2017.

In the age group 50 or above, 17 per cent supported Taiwan independence, whilst 71 per cent opposed it.

In the latest poll, 59 per cent supported Taiwan in rejoining the United Nations, whilst 29 per cent opposed it, giving a net support of positive 30 percentage points by deducting the latter from the former. It was the highest net support rate since August 1993 when the survey started, according to HKUPOP.

“In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they continue to support giving Taiwan more international space,” said HKUPOP’s Research Manager Frank Lee.

“Besides, the net value of those who believed ‘one country, two systems’ should be applicable to Taiwan is negative 14 percentage points. People continue to be pessimistic about cross-strait reunification, and its latest net confidence is negative 22 percentage points.”

tibet flag
A Tibetan flag seen in Hong Kong. Photo: Cloud.

The survey also asked about Tibetan independence, in which more people opposed it than supported it in all age groups. Overall, 19 per cent supported it, but 63 per cent opposed it.

“Further analysis shows that older people tend to oppose Taiwan and Tibet’s independence, while the younger the people are, the more pessimistic they are about cross-strait reunification,” Lee said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.