HKU POP releases the latest survey on Taiwan issuesBack

 

Press Release on August 9, 2016

| Detailed Findings (People's Most Familiar Political Figures) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Independence of Taiwan) |
| Detailed Findings (Confidence in Cross-strait Reunification) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Applicability of "One Country, Two Systems" to Taiwan) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Taiwan's Rejoining the United Nations) |


Special Announcement

To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong has already released for public examination some time ago via the “HKU POP SITE” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of all 102 regular rating surveys of CE CY Leung, as well as the 181 regular rating surveys of former CE Donald Tsang and 239 regular rating surveys of former CE CH Tung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.


Abstract

POP interviewed 1,008 Hong Kong people between August 1 and 4, 2016 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Our latest survey shows that Hong Kong people who oppose to the independence of Taiwan continue to outnumber those who support it. However, the opposition rate significantly decreases to 44%, which reaches its all-time low record since this survey series began in 1993. The net support slightly increases to negative 15 percentage points, which is a new high since October 1994. People’s net support rate for Taiwan rejoining the UN stands at positive 14 percentage points. In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they tend to support giving Taiwan more international space. The net value of those who believed ‘one country, two systems’ should be applicable to Taiwan slightly increases to negative 15 percentage points. Besides, people continue to be pessimistic about cross-strait reunification, its net confidence stands at negative 29 percentage points. Further analysis shows that the younger the respondents, the more supportive they are of Taiwan’s independence and more pessimistic about cross-strait reunification. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, and net values need another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 71%.

Points to note:

[1] The address of the “HKU POP SITE” is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.

[2] The sample size of the survey is 1,008 successful interviews, not 1,008 x 71.0% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.

[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. When quoting these figures, journalists can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level, sampling error of net values not more than +/-7%”.
[4] Because of sampling errors in conducting the survey(s) and the rounding procedures in processing the data, the figures cannot be too precise, and the totals may not be completely accurate. Therefore, when quoting percentages of the survey(s), journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used.
[5] The data of this survey is collected by means of random telephone interviews conducted by real interviewers, not by any interactive voice system (IVS). If a research organization uses “computerized random telephone survey” to camouflage its IVS operation, it should be considered unprofessional.


Latest Figures

POP today releases the latest findings on various Taiwan issues. From 2014, POP enhanced the previous simple weighting method based on age and gender distribution to “rim weighting” based on age, gender and education (highest level attended) distribution. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in 2015 year-end and the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution collected in the 2011 Census. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

Date of survey

Overall sample size

Response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[6]

1-4/8/2016

1,008

71.0%

+/-3%

[6] Errors are calculated at 95% confidence level using full sample size. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified.


Latest people’s views towards various Taiwan issues are summarized below:

Date of survey[7]

7-13/8/14

9-12/3/15

7-13/8/15

29/2-3/3/16

1-4/8/16

Latest Change

Total sample size[7]

1,024

1,024

1,002

1,004

1,008

--

Overall response rate

67.6%

68.6%

64.1%

67.7%

71.0%

--

Latest finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error [8]

--

Taiwan independence: Support rate

31%

33%

29%

35%[9]

29+/-4%

-6%[9]

Taiwan independence: Opposition rate

52%[9]

53%

50%

52%

44+/-4%

-8%[9]

Net support

-21%[9]

-20%

-21%

-17%

-15+/-7%

+2%

Taiwan rejoining the United Nations: Support rate

47%

49%

47%

47%

41+/-4%

-6%[9]

Taiwan rejoining the United Nations: Opposition rate

30%[9]

34%

26%[9]

30%

27+/-3%

-3%

Net support

17%[9]

16%

21%

18%

14+/-6%

-4%

Believed ‘one country, two systems’ was applicable to Taiwan

32%[9]

30%

34%

33%

31+/-4%

-2%

Believed ‘one country, two systems’ was not applicable to Taiwan

50%[9]

58%[9]

49%[9]

52%

46+/-4%

-6%[9]

Net value of applicability

-18%[9]

-28%[9]

-15%[9]

-19%

-15+/-7%

+4%

Confidence in cross-strait reunification

32%[9]

29%

26%

28%

26+/-3%

-2%

No confidence in cross-strait reunification

55%[9]

59%

57%

56%

55+/-4%

-1%

Net confidence

-23%[9]

-31%[9]

-31%

-28%

-29+/-6%

-1%

[7] Starting from March 2011, these questions only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample sizes of the surveys range from 630 to 704, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated. Since 2012, the frequency of surveys has reduced from once every 3 months to half-yearly.

[8] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level, sampling error of net values not more than +/-7%” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[9] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level under the same weighting method, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


Latest survey revealed that 44% of Hong Kong people interviewed opposed the independence of Taiwan whereas 29% showed support, with net support at negative 15 percentage points. Besides, 41% supported the rejoining the United Nations of Taiwan while 27% opposed, with net support at positive 14 percentage points. As for the applicability of “one country, two systems” to Taiwan, 31% gave a positive view while 46% gave a negative answer, with net value of applicability at negative 15 percentage points. Finally, 26% were confident in the ultimate reunification across the strait whilst 55% expressed no confidence, with net confidence at negative 29 percentage points.


Indepth Analysis

In the survey, we also asked respondents for their age. If they were reluctant to give their exact age, they could give us a range. According to their answers, we grouped them into 18-29, 30-49, and 50 years or older. Herewith further analysis of respondents’ view on the Taiwan independence issue and confidence in cross-strait reunification by age:

Date of survey: 1-4/8/2016

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

View on the Taiwan independence issue[10]

Support

61+/-9%
(67)

29+/-6%
(67)

16+/-4%
(45)

29+/-4%
(178)

Oppose

23+/-8%
(25)

39+/-6%
(89)

56+/-6%
(157)

44+/-4%
(271)

Don’t know / hard to say

16+/-7%
(18)

31+/-6%
(71)

29+/-5%
(81)

27+/-4%
(170)

Total

100%
(109)

100%
(226)

100%
(283)

100%
(619)

[10] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level.


Date of survey: 1-4/8/2016

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

Confidence in cross-strait reunification[11]

Yes

12+/-6%
(13)

24+/-5%
(64)

33+/-5%
(105)

26+/-3%
(182)

No

81+/-7 %
( 93)

64+/-6%
(167)

39+/-5%
(126)

55+/-4%
(385)

Don’t know / hard to say

8+/-5%
(9)

12+/-4%
(31)

28+/-5%
(89)

18+/-3%
(128)

Total

100%
(115)

100%
(261)

100%
(319)

100%
(695)

[11] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level.


Opinion Daily

In January 2007, POP opened a feature page called "Opinion Daily" at the "POP Site", to record significant events and selected polling figures on a day-to-day basis, in order to let readers judge by themselves the reasons for the ups and downs of different opinion figures. In July 2007, POP collaborated with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP each day starting from July 24, a record of significant events of that day, according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would be uploaded to "Opinion Daily" as soon as they are verified by POP.


For the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from February 29 to March 3, 2016, while this survey was conducted from August 1 to 4, 2016. In between these two surveys, herewith the significant events selected from counting newspaper headlines and commentaries on a daily basis and covered by at least 25% of the local newspaper articles. Readers can make their own judgment if these significant events have any impacts to different polling figures.

2/8/16

A total of seven candidates of the Legislative Council election have their nominations declared invalid.

20/7/16

Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, comments on the pro-independence candidates running in the Legislative Council elections.

14/7/16

All candidates of the next Legislative Council election will be required to sign the declaration that they will uphold the Basic Law.

12/7/16

Hague tribunal rules China’s South China Sea claims unfounded.

17/6/16

Media reports on Causeway Bay bookstore’s bookseller Lam Wing-kee revealed details of his disappearance in a press conference.

20/5/16

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen delivers inauguration address.

19/5/16

The end of Zhang Dejiang’s three days visit to Hong Kong.

23/4/16

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung says the Department of Justice has been liaising with law enforcement agencies to investigate whether advocates of Hong Kong independence break any laws.

15/4/16

China’s GDP grows 6.7% in the first quarter of 2016.

13/3/16

Moody’s downgrades Hong Kong’s long-term debt outlook from “stable” to “negative”.


Commentary

Frank Wai-Kin Lee, Research Manager of POP, observed, “Our latest survey shows that Hong Kong people who oppose to the independence of Taiwan continue to outnumber those who support it. However, the opposition rate significantly decreases to 44%, which reaches its all-time low record since this survey series began in 1993. The net support slightly increases to negative 15 percentage points, which is a new high since October 1994. People’s net support rate for Taiwan rejoining the UN stands at positive 14 percentage points. In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they tend to support giving Taiwan more international space. The net value of those who believed ‘one country, two systems’ should be applicable to Taiwan slightly increases to negative 15 percentage points. Besides, people continue to be pessimistic about cross-strait reunification, its net confidence stands at negative 29 percentage points. Further analysis shows that the younger the respondents, the more supportive they are of Taiwan’s independence and more pessimistic about cross-strait reunification. As for the reasons affecting the ups and downs of various figures, readers are welcome to make their own judgment using the detailed records displayed in our ‘Opinion Daily’.”


Future Release (Tentative)

  • August 16, 2016 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and Principal Officials