Tiananmen Square crackdown

Chinese identity wanes

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 June, 2012, 12:00am


Hongkongers' sense of identity as Chinese citizens has plunged to a 13-year low, according to a poll conducted amid public anger at the death of Tiananmen Square activist Li Wangyang .

The University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme asked 1,001 adults to rank the strength of their feelings as 'Chinese citizens' on a scale from zero to 10. The survey reported an average rating of 6.99 points, the lowest since the end of 1999. It was 7.01 in December.

The plunge in sentiment was particularly noticeable among young people aged 18 to 29. Their rating dropped to 5.07 points, a full point lower than six months ago.

The strength of feeling as 'Hong Kong citizens' also fell to 8.11 points, down 1.7 points from December.

Student Theodora Yu, 18, sees herself as a Hongkonger because of her attachment to the city.

'Hong Kong is hugely different from China in terms of culture, people and food,' the student from St Paul's Convent School says. 'I feel uncomfortable with the government's steps to promote national identity.'

Gabrielle Chan, 17, from Tak Nga Secondary School, sees herself as a Chinese Hongkonger and takes pride in China's economic role, but hopes for justice for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.