Survey finds two-thirds of HK residents against occupation protests

Updated: 2014-10-08 07:41

By Timothy Chui(China Daily)

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More than two-thirds of Hong Kong residents do not support the ongoing occupations of key traffic routes, according to a survey conducted during the first five days of the illegal protests.

The Hong Kong Research Association found 67 percent of 1,361 respondents did not support the occupations, in telephone surveys conducted between Sept 30 and Oct 5.

More than half of the respondents said blockades in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay and Admiralty had affected their daily lives, while 46 percent said the protest had tarnished Hong Kong's international image.

Just under half of the respondents said Hong Kong's prospects would be no better or worse after the crisis was resolved, while only 17 percent believed the city's lot would improve after the occupations ended.

Some respondents were pessimistic when asked about the possible outcomes of the illegal sit-ins, with 13 percent predicting social unrest, 12 percent believing there will be bloodshed and only 13 percent believing protesters will withdraw peacefully.

A quarter of the respondents believed the occupations would only end after a police clearance, while 18 percent saw no end in sight.

The response by local authorities has polarized local opinion, with 51 percent supporting the Hong Kong government's response to the protests and 48 percent opposed. Police conduct was supported by 56 percent and opposed by 42 percent.

The association called for a speedy resolution through dialogue between protesters and the government, supported by various sectors in society, reiterating calls for rational and peaceful talks with a view to achieving universal suffrage without delay.

Meanwhile, councilors of the Central and Western District, the area hardest hit by the protests, issued a demand to the Hong Kong government to swiftly resolve the occupations, which has closed schools and snarled rush-hour traffic in the district for more than a week.

Central and Western District Councillor Stephen Chan Chit-kwan said the council was inundated with resident complaints over the occupations and pleas for Harcourt, Gloucester and Connaught roads to be reopened.

He said residents have been plagued by traffic jams and tripling of commute times, while elderly residents were forced to take taxis to keep appointments due to disruptions in public transport.

"Most citizens have reached the limits of their patience, and they yearn for a return to normalcy so people can go to work, study and live peacefully," he said.

An assembly of councilors on Tuesday called on the public to demand that radicals end the occupations as soon as possible.