Date
25 March 2017
University students in Hong Kong largely agree that the city play a role in furthering the cause of democracy in mainland China. Photo: HKEJ
University students in Hong Kong largely agree that the city play a role in furthering the cause of democracy in mainland China. Photo: HKEJ

University students say HK has a duty to foster China democracy

A majority of Hong Kong university students feel the city’s residents have a responsibility to “build a democratic China”, according to a survey carried out by Ming Pao Daily News.

In a poll conducted on students from local tertiary institutions, 53 percent of the respondents said Hong Kong people have a duty to foster democratic values in China, while only 14 percent took the opposite view.

Twenty-nine percent of the respondents said they plan to attend the June 4 vigil this year to mark the 26th anniversary of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Seventy-one said that they will either not attend the vigil or are yet to make up their minds on participating in the event.

Among those who said they wouldn’t be participating, 35 percent thought the vigil has become more of a formality, while 28 percent said the annual event won’t be able to prod Chinese authorities into an official reassessment of the June 4, 1989 incident.

The survey, conducted by Ming Pao during the second half of May, took in the responses of 851 students from eight local universities.

Albert Ho, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said it can be considered a good turnout rate if 30 percent of the people say they are going to the vigil.

Ho said he felt encouraged by the fact that 53 percent of the people surveyed said Hong Kong people should play a part in helping turn China more democratic.

The survey shows that Hong Kong is still a place where one can speak freely, he said, adding that the sense of responsibility and recognition displayed by students is a good sign.

Hong Kong University Students Union (HKUSU) chairman Fung King-yan said it is difficult to comment on the survey results as the methods used in different surveys differ.

He reiterated the stance of HKUSU that they disagree with the notion that Hong Kong can have democracy only after China has it.

Victor Wong, deputy secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, which is not joining the June 4 vigil for the first time in 26 years, said it could be a subjective argument whether it is Hong Kong people’s responsibility to help create democracy in China.

But he added that the students union has always held the view that there is a strong bond between democracy development in Hong Kong and China.

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EL/AC/RC

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