* "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.
This year's survey findings revealed that 53% of the respondents believed that the Beijing students did the right thing in 1989, while 22% believed that they did the wrong thing. Meanwhile, with regard to the way the Chinese Government handled the matter at that time, 18% regarded it as correct and 63% regarded it as wrong.
The findings also showed that 56% of the respondents supported a reversion of the official stand on the incident while 28% did not. Regarding the human right condition in China, 80% of the respondents believed that China's human right condition has been improved since 1989, and 69% anticipated that China's human right condition will be improved after 3 years.
Moreover, 76% of the respondents believed that Hong Kong people had a responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China, whereas on the economic aspect, 83% believed that Hong Kong people had such a responsibility. When comparing democracy and economic development, 45% of the respondents believed Hong Kong people should put more effort on instigating the economic development in China, while 27% of the respondents put more weight on the development of democracy. Furthermore, 47% believed that China should emphasize more on her economic development, while 28% believed that China should emphasize more on the development of democracy.
Finally, regarding the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China ("the Alliance"), 21% of the respondents said the Alliance should be disbanded, 51% said no. The latest popularity rating of the Alliance in late May was 44.8 marks.
Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme observed, "This is the 14th anniversary survey on June Fourth conducted by POP. Generally speaking, the structure of people's opinion has remained very stable in recent years, in spite of some small changes. Hong Kong people on the whole are quite sympathetic to the Beijing students, and consider the move taken by the Central Government in 1989 a wrong one. However, most people believe China's human right condition has improved, and will further improve. Most people take it to be Hong Kong people's responsibility to instigate economic and democratic development in China, although more opt for economic development, at a ratio of 83% to 76%. More than half support a reversion of the official stand on June Fourth, and disagree to the dissolution of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China. As for the micro-level changes, the percentages for or against Beijing students have both increased, meaning that those without definite opinions have dropped. Those who considered the Central Government had taken the right move in 1989 and those against a reversion of the official position on June Fourth have both increased, although they are the minorities. As for the Alliance, its popularity rating has continued to drop gradually in recent years."
News about POP
POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday afternoon via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the next 7 days. According to schedule, our next release of regular survey findings will be June 6, 2006, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest ratings of top ten political groups will be released.
Our general practice is to answer all questions on the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site as soon as we receive them, but we will not further comment on the findings. We welcome questions for follow-up purpose, please email them to us at . We will keep such an arrangement under constant review, suggestions most welcome. Please note that everything carried in the POP Site does not represent the stand of the University of Hong Kong. Dr Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of POP, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.
Starting from January 2006, we have included in our regular press releases a small educational section for the purpose of general civic education, the content of which is usually based on previous questions and comments we have received from the public. The subject of our education section today is "FAQs of Opinion Research".
FAQs of Opinion Research
Q: Why does HKUPOP conduct June Fourth anniversary surveys?
A: June Fourth is an important page in the contemporary history of China, it has a tremendous impact on the development of Hong Kong and Mainland China. When HKUPOP was established in 1991, Hong Kong people were deeply troubled by their June Fourth Complex. On the political level, such a complex has dictated the results of many elections, as well as changed the course of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. For these reasons, in 1993, HKUPOP began to study Hong Kong people's opinions of June Fourth and human right conditions in China once every year. This is the 14th anniversary survey in a row.
Q: Would HKUPOP stop doing June Fourth anniversary surveys?
A: Depends on how public opinion would change, and whether such surveys still have an academic value. Provided that Hong Kong people still consider June Fourth to be an important issue, we will continue to poll their opinions, no matter what the official position is. On the contrary, when people have lost interest in June Fourth, there may not be any need to continue the surveys. Whether and when the surveys would stop is not a political decision.