More people in Hong Kong are reacting positively to China’s post-Handover policies regarding the city and feel a “sense of pride” as Chinese citizens, according to the latest poll results published by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) on Tuesday.

Arrays of Chinese flags were hung up in different parts of Hong Kong in anticipation of its 25th Handover anniversary. File Photo: GovHK.

In its latest Handover anniversary survey, PORI interviewed 1,001 Cantonese-speaking adult residents in the city via telephone between June 20 and 24.

PORI revealed that 41 per cent of their respondents gave a positive appraisal to the central government’s policies on Hong Kong after the Handover – 6 percentage points higher than in the previous year’s findings. Meanwhile, the ratio of those giving negative feedback saw a decrease of 15 percentage points from last year, standing at only at 29 per cent.

Overall, PORI said responses to Beijing’s Hong Kong policies were the most positive since 2012.

National pride

The pollster also found that 47 per cent of the interviewees felt “proud of becoming a national citizen of China” and only 46 per cent said they did not feel pride. It is the most positive result since 2009.

As for the city’s administration, the survey found that the net satisfaction rate of the Hong Kong government stood at negative 27 percentage points, whilst net trust value stood at five percentage points only.

PORI said these two latest figures have “increased significantly” when compared to last month’s data, registering new record highs since early 2019.

The pollster did not provide a demographic breakdown of the survey respondents, or offer any interpretation of the results.

Responding to HKFP’s enquiries, PORI said it was up to respondents to interpret what China’s policies their survey referred to.

‘Democracy’ ratings fall

The pollster also announced the findings of a separate survey on Tuesday.

PORI successfully reached out to a total of 1,000 respondents between May 31 and June 5, asking them to give ratings on “five core social indicators” – the degree of “stability,” “freedom,” “prosperity” and “democracy,” as well as “compliance with the rule of law.”

The results showed that the score of “stability” was rated 5.15, the highest among the five, while the rating of “democracy” ranked the lowest at 4.43.

Delayed release

The pollster was originally scheduled to release the survey findings last Tuesday – three days ahead of Hong Kong’s 25th Handover anniversary and a visit by China’s Xi Jinping. It then announced that they had decided to publish the results a week later, “in response to suggestions from relevant government department(s) after their risk assessment.”

Police sealed off the West Kowloon Station on July 1. Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP.

Aside from allegedly telling PORI to delay the announcement of its survey findings, the city’s authorities also searched the homes of members of the League of Social Democrats, one of Hong Kong’s few remaining pro-democracy groups. The government also denied some journalists, as well as some local and international media, access to cover the celebrations.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of PORI Robert Chung told Ming Pao that they “did not alter a word” of the survey findings and that authorities have not contacted him after the results were published on Tuesday.

In July 2020, police raided PORI’s Wong Chuk Hang offices ahead of a legislative poll.

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Peter Lee

Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.