Nine out of 10 Hong Kongers oppose Olympic torch protests

Other News Materials 18 April 2008 10:22 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - More than 93 per cent of Hong Kong people are opposed to anti-China protests when the Olympic torch reaches the city on May 2, according to a survey published Friday.

Seventy per cent believe the relay should not be used to press Beijing on its human rights record and 93.4 per cent oppose the worldwide protests that have blighted the overseas torch relay.

Only 4.1 per cent of more than 1,000 people interviewed by the Chinese University in Hong Kong said they supported the protests which have seen ugly confrontations and scuffles in London and Paris.

The Olympic torch will make its first appearance back on Chinese soil in Hong Kong on May 2, the only city in China apart from Macau where demonstrators are free to protest.

Protest groups are already planning to vent their fury against China over the recent troubles in Tibet but the survey suggested they would not have the support of most Hong Kong citizens.

An overwhelming 98.2 per cent of survey respondents said they hoped to see a successful torch relay in Hong Kong and half said they hoped to watch the relay through the city.

More than 80 per cent said they were opposed to any boycott of the Beijing Olympics because of China's human rights record while 92.3 per cent said it was a time of pride for all Chinese people.

Hong Kong's Beijing-appointed Chief Executive Donald Tsang is expected to be the first of 120 torch-bearers to run in the 33-kilometre relay, which will be marshalled by 3,000 police.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" arrangement guaranteeing political freedoms and the right to protest.