Accessibility links

Nearly 40 Percent of Young Hong Kongers Support Independence


Hong Kong Democratic Party protest against the new electoral rule targeting advocates of independence.

Hong Kong Democratic Party protest against the new electoral rule targeting advocates of independence.

Almost 40 percent of young people in Hong Kong support independence from China for the city after 2047.

The information came from a study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Interviewers asked more than 1,000 people questions in July.

The study contained a number of interesting findings.

Young people supported independence more than older people. Nearly 40 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 24, who were asked, said they want the city to break away from China.

Seventeen percent of all those questioned said they support independence for Hong Kong after 2047. Nearly 30 percent expressed no preference for independence or staying with China.

Protesters hold placards and wave Hong Kong colonial flags during the annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. As the Asian financial center prepares for legislative elections in September.

Protesters hold placards and wave Hong Kong colonial flags during the annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. As the Asian financial center prepares for legislative elections in September.

However, less than four percent said they believe independence is possible for the former British colony.

Britain handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997. Under that agreement, Hong Kong is to be governed by the People’s Republic of China under two economic systems: communism and capitalism.

This is known as the “one country, two systems” policy. The one country, two systems deal with China is set to end in 2047.

One university student agreed with the study results. He said about half of his friends support independence for Hong Kong.

“I think a lot of young people are very disappointed in the Chinese government or the [ruling] Chinese Communist Party,” he said. “Also, a number of events in recent years have changed people’s views about Hong Kong’s future.”

The student said the Chinese government has not permitted fully democratic elections in Hong Kong.

Officials require candidates to promise unity for the first time

The survey comes before elections for Hong Kong’s legislature.

For the first time, all candidates have been asked to sign a document. In it, the candidate promises to uphold the principle that Hong Kong is “an inalienable part of China.”

A number of pro-independence Chinese said they will be candidates in the elections to be held on September 4. The Electoral Affairs Commission said all candidates must sign the document or they will be disqualified.

Hong Kong was promised a “high degree of autonomy” under the terms of its 1997 handover to China. Article 26 of the Basic Law guarantees the city’s residents the right to vote in and stand for elections.

As a result, Hong Kong is considered a Special Administrative Region.

I’m Mario Ritter.

This report came from Yang Fan for Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin Service and by Lam Kwok-lap for the Cantonese Service. It was translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

What do you think of Hong Kong’s future? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or visit our Facebook page.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

interviewern. a person who asks questions to get information

communismn. a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products and there is no privately owned property

capitalismn. a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government

democraticadj. based on a form of government in which the people choose leaders by voting

inalienableadj. impossible to take away or give up

disqualifiedv. to stop or prevent someone from doing, having or being a part of something

autonomyn. the power or right of a country or group to govern itself

handovern. the act or process of giving control of someone or something to another person or country

region –n. an area of a country that is different than others for some reason

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG