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6 Apr 2016

Survey Findings on Views on Social Conflict in Hong KongReleased by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK

6 Apr 2016
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A telephone survey was conducted from 18 to 23 March 2016 by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to gauge public views on social conflict in Hong Kong.  717 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 40.7%.  The sampling error is + or –3.66 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%.

Major findings are summarized as follows: 

About two-third (66.5%) of the respondents regarded the current conflict between Hong Kong citizens and the government as “serious” whereas only 6.6% said that it is not so and 24.2% reported “in-between”. Similarly, 71.4% of the respondents regarded the political wrangling in Hong Kong as “serious” while 4.3% viewed the opposite and 21.8% replied “in-between”. 

The respondents were also asked if they approved of the view that “when struggling with the government to fight for our demands, we should always stick to peaceful, rational and non-violent means.” About seven-tenth (69.5%) of the respondents approved, 8.1% disapproved and 20.5% expressed “in-between”. When asked if they agreed that “nowadays in Hong Kong, taking radical actions such as physical clashes or traffic blockage is the only way of making the government respond to people’s demands,” about three-fifth (57.8%) of the respondents disagreed whereas only 15.9% agreed. Furthermore, if asked whether they agreed that “taking radical actions is the only way to make government respond to their own demands,” more than three-fifth (63.6%) of the respondents disagreed, while only 9.1% agreed. 

In fighting for public interests, about two-third (66.9%) of the respondents preferred the approach of making concession by both sides to seek common ground. 22.3% of the respondents preferred to stick to their principles and not to compromise. 

Respondents were also asked about their view on some radical means of protests. In the survey, 41.7% accepted “lie-down protests”. The proportions of the respondents who accepted the use of “throwing eggs at government officials”, “physical clashes”, “traffic blockage”, “throwing hard objects at law enforcement officers”, “burning tyres or rubbish bins” and “vandalism” are 18.9%, 18.6%, 15.8%, 3.9%, 3.9% and 2.9% respectively.

Finally, the respondents were asked if they expected social conflict to become more serious in the next three years. Nearly half of the respondents (45.4%) agreed while 25.5% predicted that it would be more or less the same and only 13.2% anticipated some alleviation.