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Over 40% of Hongkongers consider emigration due to unstable politics

UK, Australia,Taiwan listed as Hongkongers’ most sought-after emigration destinations

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Hong Kong has seen a heavier police presence since last year. 

Hong Kong has seen a heavier police presence since last year.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A survey released Tuesday (Oct. 6) shows that almost 44 percent of Hong Kong residents have been considering emigration after Beijing's introduction of the national security law in the special administrative region.

The opinion survey, published by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, asked 737 people for their perception of emigration and Hong Kong's current liveability. Around 43.9 percent of the respondents said they would emigrate if there was a chance, while 46.8 percent said they plan on staying, and 9.3 percent remain undecided.

Among those surveyed, 15.3 percent said they have already started preparation for the move, a six percentage point increase from last year. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's livability score dropped to the lowest in the last four years, from 63.9 in 2017 to 49.6 this year.

The push factors driving residents to leave Hong Kong include the following: "dissatisfaction with Hong Kong government/chief executive/senior officials or government policies" (27.3 percent); "too much political dispute and instability" (23.6 percent); "weakening liberty, human rights, and freedom of information" (19.8 percent); and "lack of democracy in Hong Kong" (17.6 percent).

When asked about their ideal emigration destinations, nearly 24 percent of the respondents answered the U.K., while 12 percent and 11 percent chose Australia and Taiwan, respectively. Only approximately 9 percent of Hongkongers said they are interested in making China their new home.

According to the pollsters, the number of Hongkongers considering emigration is a significant jump from last year and the highest in the last five years. They pointed out that politics has surged as the main factor for Hongkongers' desire to move elsewhere, which was not observed in surveys conducted between 2017-2019, reported VOA.