One in six in Hong Kong wants independence from China

One in six in Hong Kong wants independence from ChinaNearly one in six citizens in Hong Kong want the special administrative region of China to become independent of the mainland, a university poll has shown, although almost everybody think it will never happen.

The poll was conducted by the Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey of the university’s school of journalism and communication. The results were released on Sunday. 1,010 Hong Kong residents were randomly sampled by phone from July 6 to 15, 2016. The survey respondents were aged 15 or above, with 3.5 per cent aged between 15 and 17.

Regarding the prospect of Hong Kong after 2047, when its 50-year "one country, two systems" agreement, under which it is governed by Beijing, expires, survey participants were asked to state “support,” “not support” or “so-so” on three hypothetical scenarios of Hong Kong’s future.

“Maintenance of One Country Two Systems” received 69.6 per cent of support, “Independence” received 17.4 per cent of support and “Direct governance by China” received 13.8 per cent of support.

Also nearly 40 per cent of respondents aged between 15 and 24 supported Hong Kong independence. Asked about the apparent higher support for independence among younger people, Professor Paul Lee, one of the survey organizers, said there appeared to be cultural differences between the older and younger generations.

But 81.2 per cent of respondents stated that the possibility for Hong Kong to attain independence in the future is “not possible,” while 3.6 per cent stated that it is “possible.”

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997 under an agreement that gave ultimate control to Beijing but promised Hong Kong greater freedoms and separate laws for at least 50 years.

Still tensions have grown in the past two years. Activists claim that China doesn’t fulfill the agreement and Beijing says the activists violate the law.
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