TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As protests against Beijing's hand-picked government in Hong Kong rages on, a poll released by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Program (HKPOP) on Tuesday (July 16) showed that 44 percent of respondents support Taiwan independence, the highest percentage in the 26-year history of the survey.
As Hong Kong citizens continue to lose faith in the city's head Carrie Lam, who was hand-picked by Beijing, they are also becoming disillusioned with the tattered "one country, two systems" framework and are increasingly favoring independence for Taiwan. On Tuesday, HKPOP released a survey which showed rapidly plummeting opinions of Lam and quickly rising support for an independent Taiwan.
Thanks to her disastrous policies, such as the proposed extradition bill, Lam's rating in the latest survey dropped from 49 percent in April to 33.4 percent in July, while the vote of confidence in the Hong Kong leader dropped to 26 percent. Factoring in ratings and votes of confidence and no confidence in Lam, the net approval rate for the embattled leader dropped to an abysmal minus 40 percent.
The survey also showed that Hongkongers are increasingly supportive of Taiwan independence and a greater role for the country on the world stage. The percentage of respondents supporting Taiwan independence increased from 33 percent in April to 44 percent in July, while those opposing independence for Taiwan decreased from 52 percent to 44 percent.
At 44 percent, those supporting Taiwan independence in the July survey is the highest in the poll's history since it began in 1993, when the city was still under British rule. The lowest level of support for Taiwan Independence was in 2005, when only 9.3 percent thought it was a good idea.
Those who believe that "one country, two systems" is applicable to Taiwan has dropped from 30 percent in April to 27 percent in July. Over that same period, those who believe that "one country, two systems" is not applicable to Taiwan has risen from 54 percent to 63 percent.
Hongkongers are also increasingly in favor of Taiwan rejoining the United Nations (UN), with the approval rating going up from 46 percent in April to 57 percent in July. Over that same period, those opposing Taiwan rejoining the UN has dropped from 35 percent to 27 percent.
Support for Tibet independence has also spiked, with those in favor increasing from 16 percent in April to 26 percent in July. The percentage of respondents opposed to Tibet independence over that period has dropped from 63 percent to 53 percent.