Hongkongers’ mistrust of Beijing hits record level after white paper: poll
University phone survey finds almost one in two do not trust central government, amid fallout from white paper and Occupy Central unofficial referendum
Hongkongers’ mistrust of the central government has climbed to a record high level, according to a survey by the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University (CUHK).
A separate telephone survey by the University of Hong Kong’s public opinion programme found that the proportion of Hongkongers who are dissatisfied with Beijing’s policies towards Hong Kong had also hit a record high.
The CUHK telephone poll was conducted between last Monday and Thursday – two weeks after Beijing unprecedentedly issued a white paper on the implementation of the “one country, two systems” policy.
The white paper emphasised Beijing’s “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong and raised concerns that the city’s high degree of autonomy and independent judiciary is under threat.
The new poll also comes as almost 800,000 Hongkongers have voted in an unofficial referendum on options for the chief executive election in 2017 that Beijing has deemed “illegal”.
Among the 813 residents who took part in the telephone survey, 43.6 per cent said they did not trust the central government – the highest proportion since the question was first asked in the institute’s surveys in November 2009.
Watch: Hong Kong citizens worried about their future: analyst
The proportion had jumped 5.2 per cent from the results of the previous month’s poll.
A minority of 23.6 per cent said they trusted Beijing, while 31.2 per cent took a neutral stance and the rest said they did not know.
The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus 3 per cent.
A separate telephone survey by the University of Hong Kong’s public opinion programme, the results of which were also released on Monday, found that the proportion of Hongkongers who are unhappy with Beijing’s policies towards Hong Kong had also hit a record high.
Of a total of 963 people who answered the question, 33 per cent gave a negative appraisal of the central government’s Hong Kong policies, a peak since the survey commenced in 1999.
The proportion of respondents who gave positive and neutral appraisals both stood at 31 per cent.
The HKU poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, and the interviews were conducted between June 16 and 19.
As many as 500,000 people have been forecast to attend Tuesday’s annual July 1 march, when Hongkongers traditionally voice their dissatisfaction with the central and local governments.