Nearly 40 per cent of young Hongkongers believe that the city should go independent after 2047, a poll conducted by the Chinese University found.
The university’s journalism school interviewed 1,010 residents, from July 6 to 15, on their views about Hong Kong’s future. It also discovered that young people are becoming less supportive of fighting for political reform in a “peaceful and non-violent” manner.
Among respondents aged 15 to 24, supporters of independence formed the majority as 39.2 per cent said they supported the idea, compared to 26 per cent who opposed it.
Asked if the “one country, two systems” principle should be extended after 2047 – the end date of Beijing’s promise of 50 years without change after the 1997 handover – 69.6 per cent of poll respondents said yes, while six per cent said no.
As for whether the city should become independent, 17.4 per cent said yes while 57.6 per cent said no.
Another 13.8 per cent said Hong Kong should be ruled directly under Beijing, while 59.2 per cent opposed that idea.
On whether people should insist on fighting for democracy in a “peaceful and non-violent” manner, 71.3 per cent said yes, while 5.9 per cent said no.
“Youngsters are worried about Hong Kong’s future, it’s the same with me,” says Ebony, a 15-year-old junior reporter using her pseudonym.
Frank O’Brien, another junior reporter who is also 15, is on the fence.
He thinks independence would allow Hong Kong more freedom. However, to extend the one country, two systems principle would be good for Hong Kong’s economic growth, he said.
Junior reporter Sasha, 16, is in favour of the city’s independence, saying that giving Hongkongers a voice “will allow this future sovereign state to prosper free from Chinese rule in 2047”.