Recent surveys showing zero respondents among young people regarding their identity and the month-old democracy protest movement, underline their basic thinking about these issues, commentator TY Ko writes in Tuesday’s edition of the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
An overwhelming number of the respondents support the movement, with just 7.7 percent against it, according to the Center for Communication and Public Opinion Survey of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).
There were no respondents from the same age group to “no opinion/decline to answer” question.
This means Hong Kong’s youths have everything to say about what is going on with the pro-democracy movement, Ko said.
Paul Lee, a professor at the CUHK School of Journalism and Communication, said the views of younger people on the issue are very clear.
A separate survey by the Hong Kong Transition Project of Hong Kong Baptist University showed zero percent of student respondents consider themselves “Chinese”.
This is the first time zero was measured in the survey since records began in the 1990s, said Michael DeGolyer, a professor of government and international studies at Hong Kong Baptist University.
About 65 percent of the respondents said they are “Hong Kong Chinese”, with “Hongkonger” coming in second at 24 percent. Just 11 percent consider themselves “Chinese-Hongkonger”.
The two surveys demonstrate a trend of disaffection among young people toward the central government in Beijing and their disapproval of being called Chinese, Ko said.
The figures support public opinion that Beijing has lost the hearts of a whole generation in Hong Kong to the protest campaign.
This cannot be blamed on foreign powers, particularly international media, manipulating young people because they are capable of critical thinking, he said.
The central government should admit that its image-building propaganda targeting Hong Kong youth has been a complete failure and violence by anti-protest groups on the students has helped fuel their distrust of Beijing.
In some sense, the anti-protest groups, who gather mostly in residential areas, have caused more distress to ordinary citizens than the protesters.
Residents who are politically neutral tend to have a bigger dislike of anti-protest groups than the student protesters.
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