Nearly two in five people between 15 and 24 want independence for Hong Kong after 2047 when “one country, two systems” expires.
But more than half of all respondents in a recent survey oppose the idea, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The survey by the Center for Communication and Public Opinion of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) interviewed 1,010 people aged 15 and above between July 6 and 15.
One in five, or 17.4 percent of all respondents, said they favor Hong Kong independence after 2047.
The support rate climbed to 39.2 percent among people aged 15 to 24.
Nearly three in 10 had no preference.
Less than 14 percent said they support direct governance by China while nearly 60 percent are against it.
Asked if they think Hong Kong can attain independence in the future, one in eight indicated “not possible” compared with less than 4 percent who said it is possible.
Paul Lee, a professor in the CUHK School of Journalism and Communication who led the survey, said the results suggest most Hongkongers know independence is out of the question.
However, he said the high support rate, particularly among young people, is telling and could influence the upcoming Legislative Council elections to some degree.
Senior lecturer Ivan Choy said the results show that a certain number of voters support localism and independence but it is too early to say how many people with those views are candidates in the Sept. 4 vote.
Choy said the Electoral Affairs Commission might end up spurring more voters to support independence if it stops localist candidates from running.
Respondents gave the pro-establishment camp a 4 out of 10 favorability rating compared with 4.53 for pan-democrats and 3.45 for localist groups.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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