Home PoliticsPolitical Protests Highest number of Hong Kong adults identify as ‘Chinese’ since 2018: survey

Highest number of Hong Kong adults identify as ‘Chinese’ since 2018: survey

by YAR

More people in Hong Kong identify as “Chinese”, results of a survey by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) show.

Although “Hongkonger” remained the most common identity among those surveyed, survey results released Tuesday found that more residents aged 30 and over identified as “Chinese” in recent years.

Members of the pro-Beijing group Chinese Hearts unfurl a large national flag in the square in front of the Hong Kong Cultural Center in Tsim Sha Tsui on October 1, 2021. File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

The institute successfully conducted telephone interviews with 1,000 Cantonese-speaking adult residents of Hong Kong between May 31 and June 5.

The survey results showed that the rating of those who identified as “Chinese” had increased from 56.8 to 61.5 compared to a similar PORI study six months ago. It was the highest rating since December 2018.

In addition, the rating of those who identified themselves as “members of the Chinese nation” increased from 60.7 to 65.0, and those who identified themselves as “members of the People’s Republic of China” also rose from 53.6 to 59.1.

Meanwhile, those who described themselves as “Hong Kongers,” “Asians” and “citizens of the world” declined across the board. The 75.4 rating for the “Hongkonger” identity was the lowest since June 2017.

Age difference

According to data revealed by PORI on Tuesday, more respondents aged 30 and over have identified as “Chinese” since 2020.

Meanwhile, the proportion of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who identified as “Chinese” has dropped to 2 percent in the latest survey alone.

The Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Current affairs commentator Derek Yuen, who was running as a centralist candidate in the delayed 2020 Legislative Council elections, said during the PORI press briefing that he thought Beijing would find the results “quite encouraging.”

“Without Beijing implementing meaningful policies [to raise national identity recognition]it is already seeing favorable results,” said Yuen.

Asked by HKFP about the reasons behind the recent increase in recognition of Chinese national identity by Hongkongers, Yuen said it might be related to the wave of emigration as well as people’s changing mindset.

As Hong Kong’s democracy movement reached its nadir, Yuen said many with strong feelings against mainland China or the Chinese Communist Party had already left the city.

Yuen said that those who chose to stay, especially in the 30-49 age group, needed money for their family or to buy property.

Derek Yuen (left). File photo: inmediahk, via CC2.0.

“These people recognize that this is China’s international financial center,” Yuen said. “In order to survive, thrive and prosper… you have to adjust your mindset.”

Yuen added that there was “a fairly large group of people” who valued stability and economic performance, and that Beijing’s implementation of the national security law had brought about “the stability that some people want.”

However, Paul Wong, a professor at the School of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong College Hong Kong, said during the same press conference that it was unclear “whether respondents were completely free from fear” when responding to recent surveys.

Wong said the national security law may have had an impact on the poll results, as freedom of expression and thought in Hong Kong was more restricted.

“We don’t know how many of them are expressing their true feelings,” Wong said.

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