HKU POP SITE releases findings of the latest annual June Fourth surveyBack


Press Release on May 31, 2007
 

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Latest Figures
 

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the findings of the latest annual June Fourth survey. As a general practice, all figures have been weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population at the end of 2006. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:


 Date of survey  Overall sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of percentages* 
 16-25/5/07   1,008   61.1%   +/- 3% 
* 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 sample error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.
 
 

Figures of latest annual June Fourth survey are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  15-20/5/03   18-20/5/04   21-24/5/05   18-25/5/06   16-25/5/07   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,067   1,039   1,001   1,022   1,008   -- 
  Overall response rate  65.1%   62.3%   59.0%   62.0%   61.1%   -- 
  Maximum sampling error of ratings (at 95% conf. level)*  +/-1.6   +/-1.8   +/-1.6   +/-1.6   +/-1.6   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*  +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   -- 
  Finding for each question/Sampling error**  Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Sampling error   -- 
  Proportion of respondents believing:                     
  The Beijing students did the right thing  46%   42%   46%   53%   50%   +/-3%   -3% 
  The Beijing students did the wrong thing  15%   19%   18%   22%   19%   +/-2%   -3% 
  The Chinese Government did the right thing  13%   10%   13%   18%   13%   +/-2%   -5% 
  The Chinese Government did the wrong thing  62%   67%   62%   63%   63%   +/-3%   -- 
  There should be a reversion of the official stand on the incident  47%   54%   56%   56%   55%   +/-3%   -1% 
  There should not be a reversion of the official stand on the incident  24%   23%   21%   28%   24%   +/-3%   -4% 
  China's human right condition had been improved since 1989  80%   70%   79%   80%   78%   +/-3%   -2% 
  China's human right condition had been worsened since 1989  4%   8%   3%   3%   4%   +/-1%   +1% 
  China's human right condition would be improved after 3 years  71%   63%   68%   69%   67%   +/-3%   -2% 
  China's human right condition would be worsened after 3 years  4%   4%   4%   3%   3%   +/-1%   -- 
  HK people had a responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China  70%   71%   75%   76%   75%   +/-3%   -1% 
  HK people had no responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China  16%   16%   13%   17%   16%   +/-2%   -1% 
  HK people had a responsibility to instigate the economic development in China  72%   76%   82%   83%   82%   +/-2%   -1% 
  HK people had no responsibility to instigate the economic development in China  15%   13%   11%   11%   12%   +/-2%   +1% 
  HK people should put more effort on instigating the economic development than democracy in China  41%   44%   43%   45%   44%   +/-3%   -1% 
  HK people should put more effort on instigating the development of democracy than economy in China  28%   24%   24%   27%   26%   +/-3%   -1% 
  China should emphasize more on the economic development  46%   50%   46%   47%   45%   +/-3%   -2% 
  China should emphasize more on the development of democracy  26%   23%   26%   28%   29%   +/-3%   +1% 
  The HK Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China ("the Alliance") should be disbanded  17%   16%   19%   21%   21%   +/-3%   -- 
  The Alliance should not be disbanded  43%   52%   47%   51%   49%   +/-3%   -2% 
  Popularity rating of the Alliance  47.5   49.2   46.4   44.8   46.9   +/-1.6   +2.1 

* "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 50% of the respondents believed that the Beijing students did the right thing in 1989, while 19% believed that they did the wrong thing. Meanwhile, with regard to the way the Chinese Government handled the matter at that time, 13% regarded it as correct and 63% regarded it as wrong. 

The findings also showed that 55% of the respondents supported a reversion of the official stand on the incident while 24% did not. Regarding the human right condition in China, 78% of the respondents believed that China's human right condition has been improved since 1989, and 67% anticipated that China's human right condition will be improved after 3 years.

Moreover, 75% of the respondents believed that Hong Kong people had a responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China, whereas on the economic aspect, 82% believed that Hong Kong people had such a responsibility. When comparing democracy and economic development, 44% of the respondents believed Hong Kong people should put more effort on instigating the economic development in China, while 26% of the respondents put more weight on the development of democracy. Furthermore, 45% believed that China should emphasize more on her economic development, while 29% 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, 49% said no. The latest popularity rating of the Alliance was 46.9 marks.


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme observed, "This is the 15th anniversary survey on June Fourth conducted by POP. Generally speaking, the structure of public opinion has remained very stable in recent years. 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. The ratio this year is 82% to 75%. Moreover, 55% support a reversion of the official stand on June Fourth, and 49% disagree to the dissolution of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, although its popularity rating only stands at 46.9 marks. One point to note is that although more people think that China should emphasize more on economic than democratic development, the difference between the two has gradually reduced over the past few years. In this year's survey, 29% said China should emphasize more on the democratic development, which is record high since this survey started in 1993. Likewise, the difference between emphasis on economic and democratic developments now stands at 16 percentage points, which is also record close since 1993. It seems that Hong Kong people do not want China to forget its democratic development, while it embarks on its rapid economic development in the Mainland."

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 5, 2006, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest ratings of top ten political groups will be released. Then on June 7, 2007, Thursday, between 1pm to 2pm, POP will release the survey on people's feeling towards different governments and peoples.

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 <[email protected]>. 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.

Since January 2006, we have included in our regular press releases a small educational section for the purpose of sharing our research experience with the readers and the general public, and the subject of our education section today is "About HKUPOP".

About HKUPOP

Mapping the annual June Fourth survey

June Fourth is an important page in the contemporary history of China with a tremendous impact on both the development of Hong Kong and Mainland China. The June Fourth complex which deeply troubled Hong Kong people has dictated the results of many elections, as well as changed the course of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. Therefore, HKUPOP began to study Hong Kong people's opinions of June Fourth and human right conditions in China since 1993. This is the 15th anniversary survey in a row. Herewith the details regarding the development of the June Fourth survey:

  • Starting from May 1993, we began this June Fourth survey. Ever since the beginning, it is conducted once every year.

  • The question wordings used in this survey are, "Do you think the Beijing students did the right thing in the June Fourth Incident?", "Do you think the Chinese Government did the right thing in the June Fourth Incident?", "Do you think the human right condition in China will be better or even worse in three years' time?", "Compared to 1989, do you think China's human right condition has become better or worse?", "Do you think Hong Kong people have a responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China", "Do you think Hong Kong people should put more effort on instigating development in China's economy or democracy?", "Which do you think China needs more: economic or democratic development?" and "Do you think the Alliance should be disbanded?".

  • In 1996, we added a question to survey people's opinion on whether Hong Kong people have a responsibility to instigate economic development in China while in 1997, we also included a question to see if people would support a reversion of the official stand on the June Fourth Incident.

  • Respondents are also asked to rate the Alliance before June Forth. We started to measure people's extent of support to the Alliance since 1992. The wordings used in this question are, "Please use a scale of 0-100 to rate your extent of support to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, with 0 indicating absolutely not supportive, 100 indicating absolutely supportive and 50 indicating half-half. How would you rate the Alliance?".

  • Regarding sample size, from the beginning to May 1999, the sample size of the survey was set at slightly over 500.Then from May 2000 onwards, it was increased to at least 1,000.

  • Our findings of previous surveys in May 1999 or before were published in our newsletter POP Express. After our HKU POP Site was established, the findings are released online, while all previous findings published in our POP Express have also uploaded on-line in various formats.

| Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Surveys on June Fourth Incident) |