The following is a translation of a Huanqiu Shibao article. It is therefore a mainland Chinese reflection of a Hong Kong survey. I haven’t read the survey itself, or coverage on the survey from elsewhere.
The Huanqiu article has been republished by many Chinese websites, including Sina‘s edition for Taiwan, Enorth (Tianjin), and many other regional or local websites in China.
Main Link: Only 2.4 percent of Hong Kong’s post-1980s…
In cases where the Cantonese pronounciation of Hong Kongers’ names within the Huanqiu article weren’t easily available online, I used putonghua pronounciation in this translation.
Links within blockquote added during translation.
Exchanges between Hong Kong and the hinterland become more and more frequent, but a recent survey finds that Hong Kongers see their “Hong Kong identity” with growing clarity. Among them, young respondents born after 1980 feel most strongly about their “Hong Kong identity”. Some Hong Kong media explain that the findings reflect “resistance against Chinese identity” among part of Hong Kongers, and a “low national identity”. However, Anthony Y. H. Fung [Feng Yingqian], head of the Chinese University’s School of Journalism and Communication, and in charge of the survey, told a “Huanqiu Shibao” reporter on Monday that there was no contradiction between “Hong Kong identity” and “national identity”, that while the survey showed a Hong Kong “awareness of their native land”, it also showed that pride in the national flag, the national anthem or the People’s Liberation Army and other national symbols had also risen.
According to a Hong Kong’s “Oriental Daily” report on Monday, the Chinese University’s SChool of Communication and a polling agency carried out a telephone survey last month, with 819 Hong Kongers as respondents. One question asked the respondents to tell to which category of people they belonged, with “Chinese people”, “Hong Kong people”, “Hong Kong people, but also Chinese people” and “Chinese people, but also Hong Kong people” to choose from. The survey found that 42 percent of the respondents chose that they were “Hong Kong people, but also Chinese people”, a small drop from two years ago, when the number was 44 percent. 23 percent chose the purely “Hong Kong people” identity. 22 percent said they were “Chinese, but also Hong Kong people”, and 12 percent felt that they were purely “Chinese people”, a new low after Hong Kong’s 1997 return. The survey divided respondents into those who were thirty years old or younger, the “post-1980s”, and those older than that. The results tell that the “post-1980s” don’t greatly identify with the “Chinese people identity”, with only 2.4 percent choosing “Chinese people”, while the share of older respondents identified with the “Chinese people” option by 15.9 percent.
The findings triggered controversy in Hong Kong’s public opinion. Hong Kong SAR’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Lew Mon-hung [Liu Mengxiong] said this was related to the SAR government only caring about peoples-livelihood issues and not doing everything to refute “Hong Kong independence” talk. He believes that recently, many determined people repeatedly waved “Union-Jack” flags and seized the opportunity of hyping “Hong Kong independence” thoughts, and the SAR government hadn’t refuted them. This could only lead to further political difficulties. Xu Huajie, Hong Kong United Youth Association advisor and China Im- and Export Chamber of Commerce deputy director, said that if Hong Kong’s young people resisted the hinterland for political reasons, they would lose many opportunities to develop in their working lives. But Basic Law Committee member Liu Naiqiang describes public opinion “as a cloud”, and believfes that it is difficult to rely only on the polls to assess trends in public opinion. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology economic faculty director Francis Lui [雷鼎鸣] says that this survey by the Chinese University “has problems”, because they offered no “Hong Konger, but no Chinese” choice. This would have been necessary to really measure Hong Kongers’ “national identy” identification.
Anthony Y. H. Fung, in charge of the survey, told “Huanqiu Shibao” that there was no contradiction between “Hong Kong identity” and “Chinese identity”. Although the survey had shown the “Hong Kong identity” ever more clearly, it also showed that during the past ten years, Hong Kongers’ feelings of pride for national symbols like the national flag, the national anthem, or the PLA had also risen. From only 30.6 percent of Hong Kongers feeling proud of the national flag in 1996, their share was now 37.6 percent, and while only ten percent felt good about the PLA in 1996, their share was now 21.5 percent.
Fung believes that the stronger “Hong Kong identitification” had grown because of discussions in recent years, having everyone considering their identity issues. As for the “post-1980s” leaning towards “Hong Kong identity”, this was because of the Hong Kong government’s promotion of [unsafe translation: lessons in line with hinterland lessons, encouraging independent thinking, and the young generation wanting to participate in public matters and deliberations about identity issues]. He said: “if the survey was carried out during the Olympics or during National Day, I believe Hong Kongers’ identification with the nation would be stronger”.
As for the talk about “Hong Kong independence”, Fung said that the share of respondents who said they were “Hong Kongers, but also Chinese” showed that support for “Hong Kong independence” was very small. In fact, almost sixty percent of respondents had said that they travelled to mainland China every two months or even more frequently, which reflected that Hong Kongers believed that contact with the hinterland had become an unstoppable trend.