Thu, Dec 23, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Hong Kong support for Taiwan’s UN bid increases: poll

Staff writer, with CNA, Hong Kong

More Hong Kong residents have become supportive of Taiwan’s efforts to rejoin the UN and fewer are now identifying as Chinese since Beijing authorities blocked imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) from accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, a new poll found.

A Hong Kong University poll conducted earlier this month found that 42 percent of the territory’s residents backed Taiwan’s bid to become a UN member, a 5 percent increase from similar polls in September.

The increase in support for Taiwan’s efforts could have resulted from China’s refusal to free Liu from prison to attend the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Norway, said Robert Chung (鍾庭耀), director of the university’s Public Opinion Program.

The poll also found that 63 percent of respondents now consider themselves “Hong Kongers” rather than “Chinese,” compared to 57 percent six months ago.

Thirty-five percent of respondents see themselves as either “Chinese in Hong Kong” or “Chinese,” a drop of 8 percentage points from a similar survey in June.

Chung said China’s treatment of Liu was most likely also responsible for the slide.

The good performance of Hong Kong’s team at the Guangzhou Asian Games last month and a hostage situation in the Philippines in August involving 15 tourists from Hong Kong could have contributed to the stronger sense of Hong Kong identity among residents, he said.

The telephone survey collected 1,000 valid samples.

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