HKU POP releases the latest survey on Taiwan and Tibetan issuesBack

 

Press Release on August 21, 2018

| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Independence of Taiwan) | (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) | (Opinion on Independence of Tibet) |

Special Announcements

1. From July 2017, apart from sampling landline numbers to conduct opinion surveys, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong has also added mobile numbers to the sampling frame. After three months of testing, in October 2017, POP formalized the use of mixed samples as its standard for regular opinion surveys using a landline and mobile sample ratio of 4 to 1. Starting from April 2018, POP further increased the proportion of mobile sample, which the landline and mobile sample ratio became 2 to 1. The figures released today by POP have already incorporated landline and mobile samples.

2. In September 2017, POP started to use “effective response rate” to report surveys’ contact information. In July 2018, POP further revised the calculation of effective response rate. Thus, the response rates before and after the change cannot be directly compared.

3. To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, POP has already released for public examination some time ago via the “HKU POP SITE” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of regular rating surveys of current CE Carrie Lam, former CEs CH Tung, Donald Tsang and CY Leung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.

Abstract

POP interviewed 1,000 Hong Kong people between August 6 and 9, 2018 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Our latest survey shows that Hong Kong people who oppose the independence of Taiwan continue to outnumber those who support it. The latest net support is negative 20 percentage points. However, people’s net support for Taiwan rejoining the UN increases to positive 30 percentage points, a record high since August 1993. In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they continue to support giving Taiwan more international space. Besides, the net value of those who believed “one country, two systems” should be applicable to Taiwan is negative 14 percentage points. People continue to be pessimistic about cross-strait reunification, and its latest net confidence is negative 22 percentage points. Regarding Tibetan issue, Hong Kong people who oppose the independence of Tibet also outnumber those who support it, with a net support rate of negative 44 percentage points. Further analysis shows that older people tend to oppose Taiwan and Tibet’s independence, while the younger the people are, the more pessimistic they are about cross-strait reunification. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while net values need another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 51%.

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 1,000 successful interviews, not 1,000 x 51.2% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.

[3] “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% and sampling error of net values not more than +/-8% at 95% confidence level”.

[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

From July 2017, POP enhanced the previous weighting method that has been used for quite a few years. Apart from age, gender and education, economic activity group is now also taken into account when adjusting data. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to figures provided by the Census and Statistics Department. The gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population came from “Mid-year population for 2017”, while the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution came from “Women and Men in Hong Kong - Key Statistics (2018 Edition)”. In the past, the mobile sample would be rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample. In July 2018, POP further refined the weighting method. The landline sample and the mobile sample would no longer be processed separately. The mobile sample would also no longer be adjusted using the basic PSI figures collected in the landline sample. The overall effect is that the importance of the mobile sample would be increased. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Sample size

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[6]

6-9/8/2018

1,000

51.2%

+/-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. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sampling error.


People’s latest views towards various Taiwan and Tibetan issues are summarized below:

Date of survey

1-4/8/16

1-5/3/17

2-7/8/17

1-6/2/18

6-9/8/18

Latest change

Total sample size[7]

1,008

1,027

1,016[8]

1,001

1,000

--

Response rate*

71.0%

71.7%

67.0%

62.5%

51.2%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error[9]

--

Confidence in cross-strait reunification

26%

31%[10]

26%[10]

30%[10]

35+/-4%

+5%

No confidence in cross-strait reunification

55%

59%

62%

62%

56+/-4%

-6%[10] [11]

Net confidence

-29%

-29%

-37%[10]

-32%

-22+/-8%

+10%

Taiwan rejoining the United Nations: Support rate

41%[10]

45%

46%

54%[10]

59+/-4%

+5%

Taiwan rejoining the United Nations: Opposition rate

27%

36%[10]

35%

32%

29+/-4%

-3%

Net support

14%

10%

11%

22%[10]

30+/-7%

+8%

Taiwan independence: Support rate

29%[10]

25%[10]

33%[10]

33%

34+/-4%

+1%

Taiwan independence: Opposition rate

44%[10]

61%[10]

52%[10]

54%

54+/-4%

--

Net support

-15%

-36%[10]

-19%[10]

-20%

-20+/-8%

+1%

Believed “one country, two systems” was applicable to Taiwan

31%

39%[10]

30%[10]

35%[10]

35+/-4%

--

Believed “one country, two systems” was not applicable to Taiwan

46%[10]

47%

54%[10]

53%

50+/-4%

-4%

Net value of applicability

-15%

-8%

-24%[10]

-18%

-14+/-8%

+3%

Tibet independence: Support rate

17%

16%

16%

19%

19+/-3%

--

Tibet independence: Opposition rate

57%[10]

65%[10]

63%

63%

63+/-4%

--

Net support

-40%

-49%[10]

-47%

-44%

-44+/-7%

--

* “Overall response rate” was used before September 2017, thereafter, “effective response rate” was used. In July 2018, POP revised the calculation of effective response rate. Thus, the response rates before and after the change cannot be directly compared.

[7] These questions only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample sizes of this survey range from 553 to 612. The increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[8] The mobile sample was not included when survey results were released. The figures in the table above have been updated to reflect the results based on the combined landline and mobile sample. However, whether changes have gone beyond sampling errors is still determined based on the figures in the first release.

[9] 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 +/-8%” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[10] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

[11] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level because of a change in the weighting method. If the previous weighting method was used, the changes would not have gone beyond the sampling errors.


Latest survey revealed that 35% of Hong Kong people interviewed were confident in the ultimate reunification across the strait whilst 56% expressed no confidence, with net confidence at negative 22 percentage points. 59% supported the rejoining the United Nations of Taiwan while 29% opposed, with net support at positive 30 percentage points. Besides, 54% opposed the independence of Taiwan whereas 34% showed support, with net support at negative 20 percentage points. As for the applicability of “one country, two systems” to Taiwan, 35% gave a positive view while 50% gave a negative answer, with net value of applicability at negative 14 percentage points. Regarding Tibetan issues, 63% of Hong Kong people interviewed opposed the independence of Tibet whereas 19% showed support, with net support at negative 44 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 and Tibet independence issue, and confidence in cross-strait reunification by age:

Date of survey: 6-9/8/2018

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

View on the Taiwan independence issue[12]

Support

60+/-10%
(59)

44+/-7%
(81)

17+/-5%
(43)

34+/-4%
(184)

Oppose

30+/-9%
(30)

44+/-7%
(81)

71+/-6%
(183)

54+/-4%
(294)

Don’t know / hard to say

9+/-6%
(9)

12+/-5%
(22)

12+/-4%
(31)

12+/-3%
(62)

Total

100%
(98)

100%
(185)

100%
(257)

100%
(540)

[12] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 99% confidence level.


Date of survey: 6-9/8/2018

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

View on the Tibet independence issue[13]

Support

37+/-10%
(34)

22+/-6%
(44)

11+/-4%
(28)

19+/-3%
(106)

Oppose

44+/-10%
(39)

67+/-7%
(132)

67+/-6%
(177)

63+/-4%
(347)

Don’t know / hard to say

19+/-8%
(17)

10+/-4%
(21)

22+/-5%
(59)

18+/-3%
(96)

Total

100%
(90)

100%
(196)

100%
(264)

100%
(549)

[13] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 99% confidence level.


Date of survey: 6-9/8/2018

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

Confidence in cross-strait reunification[14]

Yes

13+/-7%
(12)

30+/-6%
(63)

47+/-6%
(116)

35+/-4%
(190)

No

79+/-9%
(71)

65+/-7%
(135)

40+/-6%
(98)

56+/-4%
(304)

Don’t know / hard to say

8+/-6%
(7)

5+/-3%
(10)

13+/-4%
(31)

9+/-2%
(48)

Total

100%
(89)

100%
(208)

100%
(245)

100%
(542)

[14] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 99% 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 1 to 6, 2018, while this survey was conducted from August 6 to 9, 2018. During this period, 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.

9/8/18

Buildings near the construction site of To Kwa Wan Station are found to be affected by land subsidence.

7/8/18

Five members of the MTR top management team resign because of problems about the construction of the Shatin to Central Link.

23/7/18

Jilin-based Changsheng Biotechnology has been found producing substandard vaccines.

17/7/18

The government bans the Hong Kong National Party using the Societies Ordinance.

15/6/18

China and the US announce an additional 25% tariff on goods from each other.

14/6/18

The Legislative Council passes the third reading of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Co-location) Bill.

11/6/18

Edward Leung Tin-kei is sentenced for 6 years for rioting in Mong Kok during the Lunar New Year in 2016.

21/4/18

Qiao Xiaoyang says Hong Kong independence is unconstitutional.

15/4/18

Hong Kong holds the National Security Education Day for the first time.

11/4/18

China announces multiple measures to open up financial markets.

31/3/18

Media reports on the remarks made by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong at a Taiwan seminar that Hong Kong could consider becoming an independent state.

17/3/18

Xi Jinping is elected with unanimous vote as China’s president and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

11/3/18

The National People’s Congress passes the constitutional amendment to abolish the presidential two-term limit.


Commentary

Note: The following commentary was written by Research Manager of POP, Frank Lee.

Our latest survey shows that Hong Kong people who oppose the independence of Taiwan continue to outnumber those who support it. The latest net support is negative 20 percentage points. However, people’s net support for Taiwan rejoining the UN increases to positive 30 percentage points, a record high since August 1993. In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they continue to support giving Taiwan more international space. Besides, the net value of those who believed “one country, two systems” should be applicable to Taiwan is negative 14 percentage points. People continue to be pessimistic about cross-strait reunification, and its latest net confidence is negative 22 percentage points. Regarding Tibetan issue, Hong Kong people who oppose the independence of Tibet also outnumber those who support it, with a net support rate of negative 44 percentage points. Further analysis shows that older people tend to oppose Taiwan and Tibet’s independence, while the younger the people are, the more pessimistic they are 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 28, 2018 (Tuesday) 12pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government