Date
22 April 2019
Most people in Hong Kong are proud of their identity as Hongkongers, and are reluctant to identify themselves as 'Chinese', a survey shows. Photo: Reuters
Most people in Hong Kong are proud of their identity as Hongkongers, and are reluctant to identify themselves as 'Chinese', a survey shows. Photo: Reuters

Hong Kong people’s sense of being Chinese at 4-year low

Most people in Hong Kong tend to perceive themselves as “Hongkongers”, not as “Chinese”, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing a university survey on locals’ sense of ethnic identity.

Among 1,005 citizens randomly interviewed by phone between Dec. 3 and 6, 40 percent of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers”, while only 15 percent referred to themselves as “Chinese”, the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP), which conducted the survey, said on Thursday.

As for the rest, 26 percent identified themselves as “Hongkongers in China” and 17 percent as “Chinese in Hong Kong”.

In the broader sense, 66 percent of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers”, whereas 32 percent identified themselves as “Chinese”.

As for the absolute strength of identity, the identity rating for “Hongkongers” stands at 8.34 on a scale of zero to 10, followed by “Asians” at 8.07, “members of the Chinese race” at 6.98, “global citizens” at 6.86, “Chinese” at 6.59, and “citizens of the People’s Republic of China” at 5.91.

The identity indices, which reflect the respondents’ connection toward their identity on a scale of zero to 100, showed their feeling was the strongest as “Hongkongers” at 80.8 points, followed by “Asians” at 74.1, “members of the Chinese race” at 67.3, “global citizens” at 65.6, “Chinese” at 62.4, and “citizens of the People’s Republic of China” at 57.1.

Among the six indices, only the last one dropped significantly compared to the last survey conducted six months ago. It also marked the weakest such level since December 2014.

The HKUPOP also released the findings of the 2018 review and 2019 forecast survey, which was based on interviews with 1,000 people between Dec. 17 and 20 through random phone calls.

Of the respondents, 36 percent said they were satisfied with Hong Kong’s development in the past year, while 37 percent were dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction of negative 1 percentage point.

Asked if they felt happy during the period, 55 percent of the respondents said they did, compared to 15 percent who said they did not.

As for 2019, only 23 percent expected Hong Kong’s social development, in general, to become better, while 50 percent said it would be worse, giving net optimism of negative 27 percentage points, which significantly dropped by 37 points from a year earlier and hit a record low since the end of 2008.

The survey found that 41 percent of the respondents considered “housing” to be the most pressing problem that the government should tackle next year, a record high since the survey question was first asked in 1994.

The second and the third most important problems cited by them were “economy” (12 percent) and “medical and health” (11 percent), respectively.

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TL/BN/RC

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